The ultimate comfort food made with game. Try Philippa Davis' creamy pheasant pie with sherry, mushrooms and tarragon topped with buttered swede

As the nights draw in, it is time for suppers of comfort food. This creamy, boozy offering will fill the house with a comforting, rich aroma, says Philippa Davis. Try our creamy pheasant pie with sherry, mushrooms and tarragon. Best served with buttered, peppered leafy greens and an extra helping of mash.

For something wonderfully old-fashioned and fantastically impressive, try Genevieve Taylor’s raised game pie. And for more inspiration on what to do with a freezer full of pheasant, read The Field’s top 10 best pheasant recipes.

CREAMY PHEASANT PIE WITH SHERRY, MUSHROOMS AND TARRAGON TOPPED WITH BUTTERED SWEDE

It is hard to beat the comforting, rich aroma of a creamy, boozy pie wafting through the house on a cold, dark evening.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pheasant
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 2 rashers smoky steaked bacon, diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 100g small white mushrooms, halved
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped tarragon
  • 1½ dsp cornflour
  • 75ml dry sherry
  • 250ml pheasant stock
  • 150ml double cream

Topping

  • 750g swede, peeled and chopped
  • 100ml milk
  • 40g butter
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 60g cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°F/gas mark 4.

Submerge the pheasant in a pan of cold water and bring to simmer; cook for about 1 hour 20, or until the meat is tender. Remove the bird, cool a little then remove the meat from the bones and cut into bite-sized pieces.

Place the pheasant cooking liquid back on the stove and reduce by about half.

In a separate pan on a medium heat, melt the butter and oil then season and sauté the leek, bacon, celery, mushrooms and tarragon until soft (about 20 minutes). Stir in the cornflour then add the sherry, 150ml pheasant stock and the cream. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the pheasant meat and check the seasoning.

Meanwhile, cook the swede in a pan of salted water. When soft, drain and mash with the butter, milk and parsley. Season.

Spoon into a pie dish and top with the mashed swede and finally the cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and bubbling hot.