That pure Cane Spirit since 1848.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

For Yasgur’s farm.

I couldn’t resist a quick tramp through the bracken with the 410 so I was a bit late getting into work yesterday. I got a couple of fine doe hares and three brace of pigeons, right plump ones too.

I split the kill with Dick when I got in:

‘There you go and don’t say I’m not good to you. That’d cost you a few quid in the shops.’
‘These ladies are from Icelandair,’ he said, a bit frosty. ‘They’ve been waiting since 11 o’clock to discuss the maintenance contract. Remember?’

There was blood and feathers on my jerkin and my moleskins were covered in briars, but I hid it well.

‘Yes of course I remember. Inga and Sandra! How are you both? Good flight I hope.’

I reached out a hearty hand. Sometimes I hate my big practical hands.*

Cooking tip.

A raised pie uses hot-water crust pastry. That works the best.

Make the stock with the leg bones of the hare and the carcases of the pigeons after you’ve removed the breasts.

For the pie, you’ll need the breasts of 4 pigeons and the boned hare sliced into strips. Mix with 10 oz of pork sausage meat, a quarter pound of cooked ham chopped, 6 oz of chopped mushrooms, a chopped optional hardboiled egg, ½ cup red wine or vermouth and season with salt pepper and grated lemon rind.

Remove the hot-water crust pastry from the pie mould. Check the resultant pie case for holes and repair. Fill the pie case with the mixture. Dampen the rim, cover and seal, - crimping to make a decorative edge. Cut a 2” vent in the top. Brush with a beaten egg and bake in the hot oven for an hour.

Remove from the oven, make a cigarette out of greaseproof paper and force it into the vent to keep it open. Brush the top and sides with more beaten egg and replace in the hot oven but on a lower shelf, for another hour.

Remove the pie from the oven. Let it cool a bit then pour 1¾ cups of the stock through a funnel into the vent of the still warm pie. If the pie has leaked in the oven, wait until it’s cold before pouring in the stock. You can use any remaining stock to make a rich game sauce by reducing it with some sherry wine and unsalted butter and one of the blood bags out the hare. Lovely.

Let it chill for 5 hours before cutting.

*You can’t get the gloves.

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