We couldn’t have made up a better pie than this. It’s absolutely incredible. AND it’s historically authentic. Utter win.
This is completely unlike any meat pie I’ve previously tried. The artichoke hearts are sort of a baffling yet intriguing addition. Because there are so many other ingredients, the pigeon doesn’t really get a chance to shine in its own right, but the spices help bring it forward. We used a very flavorful bacon, which was one of the strongest elements, while the egg yolks and meatballs just added some depth and body.
Overall, much more interesting and dynamic than our original Pigeon Pie recipe, but definitely for those more adventurous epicureans.
Medieval Pigeon Pie
After ye pidgeons are made fitt to put into your pye season them with grose pepper, salt, mace & nutmeggs then lay ym into your Pot; you must have palatts ready boyld and cut into what bigness you like and lay over your pidgeons with ye yolk of hard egg, e marrow and balls of meat, made of ye lean of a legg of veal. Beat in a mortar with beef suett and some bacon amongst it when ye meat is a small as for sausages. Then add as much spice as is agreeable to your taste and a few sweet herbs. You may put in artichoke bottoms. This pye must be baked in a patty pan. -Lucayos Cookbook, 1690
My Changes: I, personally, did not include the tongue from the original recipe. However, many people swear by it as a tasty ingredient, so if you would like, feel free to add it, and let us know how it turns out! I also swapped out the beef suet and marrow for a dash of grease left over from cooking the bacon.
- 1 springform pan with high sides
- Pastry dough (get the recipe)
- 5 pigeons
- 1/4 tsp. each pepper, salt, mace, nutmeg
- boiled palatts (tongue! – optional)
- 3 hard boiled egg yolks
- 3 large meatballs, preferably of veal (cooked or uncooked)
- 1/2 cup cooked chopped bacon
- artichoke hearts
- 1-2 Tbs. bacon grease
- 1 egg for glazing
Roll out pastry dough and drape over the pan. Gently press the dough into the pan to make sure it molded to the sides and bottom. Trim the excess dough and reshape into a ball- this will be your lid.
Put your pigeons in a large pot and cover with water. Simmer for around 45 minutes, or until the meat can be easily pulled from the bone. Remove all the useable meat and discard the bones.
Season the meat with your spices, then lay in the bottom of the pastry. If using tongue, lay over the pigeon meat. Crumble the egg yolk over top of the meat, then flatten or crumble the meatballs to form the next layer. Sprinkle the bacon over that, then lay sliced artichoke hearts on the very top. Pour the bacon grease evenly over the top.
Roll out the remaining pastry dough and cut into a circle the size of the bottom of the pan. Lay this circle over the pie filling, brush the edges with water, and roll the outside dough down until it touches the top crust. Pierce the top of the pie in several places to vent the steam, flute the edges in a decorative pattern, and brush the whole thing with beaten egg.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour, until the crust is golden.