I decided I'd use a rabbit, and some pheasant legs I'd put aside. Rabbit is a very delicate meat, with a rather sweet flavor. It also cooks and strips off the bone easily. Pheasant legs are a piece of the bird many people don't use. They can be tough to deal with because unlike chicken or other birds, they've got 3, rather than 2 tendons, running up the leg. The tendons tend to harden when cooked. But pheasant legs have a nice, rich, dark meat on them, which compliment rabbit nicely.
Having decided on which proteins to use for my filling, a plan was hatched. Now, before I get into the play-by-play, rest assured, this recipe is actually quite easy, but time consuming. I didn't make it all in one day. One day I made my meat filling, and the next I assembled the pie. Also, despite my trip to England fueling my desire for a meat pie, the flavor profile of this dish is more continental, French in particular. Anyway, let us begin.
You will need:
4- Pheasant legs
4 cups- chicken stock
2-4 cups white wine
1/2- finely chopped onion
1- finely chopped carrot
2 sticks- finely chopped celery
Thyme, Parsley, Sage
3-4 cups slice mushrooms
Salt & Pepper
2- frozen deep dish pie crust
Here we go.
In a large sauce pan heat a bit of cooking oil, and when heated add the onion, carrot, and celery, and begin to brown slightly.
Once browned slightly add and brown the rabbit. The rabbit should be cut into 4-6 pieces for easier handling and cooking.
Once all the meat has browned add the chicken stock, wine, and the herbs, and cook over a medium-hi heat until brought to a boil, then lower the heat and cook at a low boil for a couple hours.
Cooking down the filling
When the meat is easily pulling away from the bone, turn off, and remove the meat from the stock to cool.
Strain the stock to remove all the herbs and veggies, retaining the stock. Discard the bits and pieces strained from the stock.
After the meat has cooled, remove all the meat from the bones, discarding the bones and any bits of tendon. Set meat aside.
In a sauce pan reduce the stock to about 1 1/2-2 cups, and sift in flour slowly while stirring until the stock becomes a nice gravy of whatever consistency you prefer.
The gravy and the meat is then mixed together. Add salt and pepper to taste. The meat should not be awash in gravy, rather just moistened and coated. At this point the meat filling can be put aside and the pie finished another day.
The Meat Filling
The next step is to cook the sliced mushrooms in butter until softened and browned. Don't go light on the butter. Butter is good. You want the mushrooms to retain a lot of butter flavor.
Take the pie crust out of the freezer, and defrost for about 15-20 minutes.
Fill the crust with the meat filling.
Brush the top of the meat with the Dijon mustard.
Top the meat filling with the buttery mushrooms.
Place the other pie crust over the top, crimp the edges, put a few vent slits in the top, and brush liberally with an egg wash.
Bake on the middle rack at 375 degrees for 40 minutes,........
I brought this pie to the skeet club, and to was on the table very long before the first slice was cut, and everyone was digging in.