Pie, Grandads Pigeon Pie

Thursday is shopping day in our house, not that I normally get involved in the traipsing around, I just do the dropping off and picking up bit and my wife and her mother do the actual shopping. Last week however there was a change in plans; my mother in law was going on a trip to South Shields on Thursday with a gang of her neighbours from Porlock house – I ask you who in their right mind would go to the beach in January, in a howling gale, to have a Minchella ice cream on the sea front?

Anyway, since her mother would be on this trip and was meeting her sister on Wednesday, my wife jumped the gun, decided to do her shopping on Wednesday and volunteered me to help. I didn’t mind, it was a change and I still had some book vouchers left over from Christmas, so I could have a browse through the books and meet up with her later. After selecting a couple of books, I caught up with her at Sainsbury’s poultry section and on one of the shelves in amongst a range of game birds were ready boned pigeons, which reminded me of my Grandad’s pigeon pies.

When I was a young lad I use to go to the Grainger market in Newcastle every other Saturday to troll through the books in Robinsons bookshop and as often as not my granddad would ask me to get him a couple of pigeons for his pigeon pie. Grandad used to pluck, clean and quarter his pigeons and they went into the pie bones and all, but today you might prefer use the ready boned meat from the supermarket and make your stock with a chicken stock cube.

Pigeon pie


8 oz of shortcrust pastry

Two plump pigeons

¼ lb bacon

¼ lb mushrooms

1 onion

½ pint stock

1 oz butter

salt and pepper

Tablespoon of flour

A pinch of gravy salt


Place the pigeons in a pan, cover with a pint of water, season with salt and pepper and simmer for an hour and a half. Save water.

Place pigeons in pie dish,

Slice onion and mushrooms, cut up bacon and fry them together in the butter.

Add them to the pigeon in the pie dish.

If you are using meat of the pigeon only, use ½ a pint of the water that the pigeons were cooked in to make the stock by adding a chicken stock cube, then thicken with tablespoon of flour, add a pinch gravy salt, to colour and pour over the pigeons. (If you have cooked the pigeons complete with bones, simply miss out the stock cube, strain, and use ½ a pint as your stock).

Add stock to the pigeons.

Cover with pastry and bake the pie for thirty minutes at, gas 6, 400°F, 200°C.

Fred Watson.

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About The Author, Fred Watson
Fred Watson published his first book, a fantasy adventure novel aimed at the 8-12 age group, in September 2006. A grandfather of four, he loves to write for all age groups and continues on a regular basis to add new stories, recipes etc to his website.http://www.footprintpublishing.co.uk/homecooking.html"> Footprint Publishing