Ooh…One of the best things about Christmas day – the traditional turkey dinner. Lovely juicy turkey meat, crunchy roast potatoes, parmesan coated parsnips, glossy and buttery brussels sprouts (well, o.k. maybe not the sprouts), chestnut stuffing, cranberry jelly, …. yum!
However, wouldn’t you like to try an alternative? Something to amaze and delight your family and friends and put Delia, Jamie and Nigella to shame? Well, I’ve found a recipe you might like to try this Christmas, just for a change.
Yorkshire Christmas Pye (sic)
First make a good standing crust, let the wall and bottom be very thick, bone a Turkey, a Goose, a Fowl, a Partridge and a Pigeon. Season them all very well, take half an ounce of mace, half an ounce of nutmegs, a quarter of an ounce of cloves and half an ounce of black pepper, all beat fine together, two large spoonfuls of salt, and then mix them together. Open the fowls all down the back and bone them, first the pigeon, then the partridge, cover them; then the fowl, then the goose, and then the turkey, which must be large; season them all well first, and lay them in the crust, so as it will look only like a whole turkey, then have a hare ready cased (skinned) and wiped with a clean cloth. Cut it to pieces; that is, jointed, season it and lay it as close as you can on one side’ on the other side woodcocks, more game and what sort of wild fowl you can get. Season them well and lay them close; put at least four pounds of butter into the pye, then lay on your lid, which must be a very thick one, and let it be well baked. It must have a very hot oven, and will take at least four hours.
This crust will take a bushel of flour….These pies are often sent to London in a box as presents; therefore the walls must be well built.
(Taken from ‘English Food’ by Jane Grigson but originally from ‘Art of Cookery’ by Hannah Glass)
Phew!! Better alert the butcher (and the poacher) if you’re going to give this a try! And maybe think again about taking out that gym membership for next year.