Pheasant and Morel Potpie

See the RecipeChristopher Hirsheimer

If pheasant hunting and mushroom foraging aren't your thing, you can always order them by mail.

Pheasant and Morel Potpie
If pheasant hunting and mushroom foraging aren't your thing, you can always order them by mail.
Yield: serves 6

For the Pie Crust

  • 3 cups flour
  • Salt
  • 5 tbsp. vegetable shortening
  • 16 tbsp. chilled butter, cut into small pieces

For the Filling

  • 1 (2½–3 lb.) cleaned pheasant, cut into pieces
  • 4 cups rich Chicken Stock
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 oz. dried morels
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
  • 3 tbsp. butter
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2 cups pearl onions, blanched for a few minutes and peeled
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen baby peas
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Instructions

  1. For the pastry: Sift together flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Use a pastry cutter or 2 knives to work shortening and butter into flour until it resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle in up to 10 tbsp. ice water, stirring the dough with a fork until it holds together. Divide dough into 2 balls, wrap each in plastic, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  2. For the filling: Put pheasant, stock, and bay leaves into a large pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove pheasant from stock and set aside to cool slightly. Meanwhile, soak morels in 1 ¼ cups hot water in a small covered bowl for 20 minutes. Strain mushroom-soaking liquid through a coffee filter into stock. Rinse mushrooms to remove grit, then set aside. Remove and discard pheasant bones, shred meat, and set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°. Add potatoes to simmering stock and cover. Increase heat to medium-low, and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high, and boil stock, uncovered, until reduced to 2 cups. Remove and discard bay leaves. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat, add flour, and cook, whisking constantly, until browned, about 1 minute. Add stock 1 cup at a time, whisking constantly, until stock becomes a smooth, thick sauce, about 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper (this sauce should be highly seasoned).
  4. Meanwhile, roll out dough on a lightly floured surface into 2 12" rounds. Fit 1 round into a 9" deep-dish pie plate. Prick bottom with a fork, then layer pheasant, morels, potatoes, onions, and peas into the pie. Add sauce, then cover with remaining pastry round. Crimp edges, and cut a hole for steam to escape. Brush top with beaten egg. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and set aside for 15 minutes before serving.