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 A Traditional Scottish Recipe for Rook Pie

Young rooks have a similar flavour to pigeon. Recently revived as a fashionable food in one of Sir Terence Conran's top London restaurants, rook pie has a wonderful gamey flavour. A spokesman for Sir Terence said "Rooks are not under threat as they do not have a predator apart from man and historically farmers have always had to cull particular birds, and they need a license to shoot game."

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Rook Pie Ingredients

4 to 6 fledgling rooks*
1 pound (450 g) of beef chopped into one inch (2 cm) pieces
6 ounces (170 g) of butter
Puff Pastry

*Fledgling rooks must be used - shot a few weeks after they have left the nest but before they fly. Older birds have a poor flavour.

Rook Pie Cooking Method

  The rooks should be skinned and the backbones and insides removed. The rooks can then be cut into joints.

  Season the joints and steak with salt and pepper and fry in hot butter until nicely browned.

  Simmer the rook joints and beef in stock for two hours.

  Remove the rook meat from the bones and retain the reduced stock for gravy.

  Lay the steak and rook meat in a baking dish.

  Cover the meat in hot melted butter and reduced stock.

  Cover the baking dish with pastry.

  Bake at 180 deg C (355 deg F) for 30 minutes.

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