FreeFrom Pigeon or Squab Pie
Gluten, nightshade, nut and wheat free; can be corn, dairy, egg, lactose and soya free
Autumn is the time for game birds – and for mushrooms – so even though any pigeons that you buy are more likely to have been bred for eating than shot on the wing, the flavour remains good.
6 tbsp olive oil
Heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a heavy casserole and briskly fry the shallots for a couple of minutes. Add the pigeons/squab and continue to fry for a further 3–4 minutes or until you have lightly seared the birds’ breasts.
Meanwhile, make the pastry by whizzing the flour and butter or spread in a food processor for 30 second or until they are mixed to bread crumb consistency.
After 2 hours remove the birds from the casserole, taking care to remove any small bones which may have become detached from the carcass. Remove the breasts and set aside. Put the carcasses in another pot ready to make stock for soup or other purposes.
Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas mark 4.
Between two sheets of lightly floured clingfilm, roll out the pastry to jstu abit bigger than the dish. Cut a border off and, having dampened the edges of the dish, put a pastry border round the pie dish. Dampen the border then carefully lift the pie lid onto the pie and press down around the sides. Decorate with pastry trimmings and, if you are using it, paint with the beaten egg.
Bake for 40 minutes or until the pastry is cooked and lightly tanned.