Everybody loves a pie, right? Well check out these babies. My recent parcel from Game Farm contained a few more goodies other than the duck I roasted a few weeks ago and while it didn’t take me long to figure out what to do with the tray of whole quails and single spatchcock, I really wanted to combine the two and slow cook them to tender goodness.
This is a recipe that requires a bit of time and patience and needs to be started the day before you serve it up. It can be made easier by buying, rather than making, your own pastry and made less laborious by doing away with the way I moulded the smaller pies. Small pie tins or even a muffin tray would do fine. The texture of the pie filling isn’t wet like your average pie filling.
As for the relish, I’ve taken elements from something that Maggie Beer concocted and put my own twist on it. The combination of flavours is perfect, especially with the almost game-like flavours of the filling.
makes 2 x 20 cm pies or 8 individual pies
Preheat oven 150°C.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and brown the spatchcock and quail on both sides. Remove the birds and set aside.
Add the pancetta and cook, stirring for 5 minutes or until golden. Transfer it to the browned spatchcock and quail. Add a little more oil to the frying pan and cook the onion & garlic for 1 minute, then toss in the anchovies and quail drumsticks for a further minute. Remove the drumsticks and set aside in the fridge, keeping the cooked onion and anchovy in the pan. Return the browned spatchcock, quail halves and cooked pancetta to the frying pan and add the red wine, stock, capers and herbs. Bring to the boil and add the chopped tomato.
Transfer to a baking dish, cover loosely with foil and bake for 2 hours. Remove the spatchcock and quail and set aside to cool.
Carefully pour all of the liquid, onion and pancetta into a saucepan and simmer until reduced, about 15-20 minutes. Discard the herbs.
Remove the meat from the bones and set aside in a mixing bowl.
Combine 1 cup of the reduced braising liquid with ½ cup water. Bring this to the boil and thicken with the cornflour that has been dissolved in a little cold water. Any remaining braising liquid can be frozen for another recipe. Pour the thickened sauce over the torn meat and mix through. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove from the processor and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap in plastic and chill for ½ hour.