Forest Pie

Show menu

Mimi Thorisson's Forest Pie

11 Nov 2017 |

Standing alone in a deep, dark forest, surrounded by trees and complete silence, perhaps accompanied by a little white dog and holding a basket filled with freshly picked mushrooms, is one of the most magical things about living in the countryside. It’s why I love autumn so much, and the pleasure only deepens when I come home with my bounty of fresh porcini or chanterelles and start cooking. It’s the time of year when we abandon summer and everything becomes more earthy and moody – in a good way. This tart is my homage to Médoc in autumn, filled with intriguing scents and flavours. I reserve this tart for a special occasion, served with a big, red Médoc, as old and as good as I can get - Mimi Thorisson, French Country Cooking



Forest Pie

Serves 6 to 8

5 tablespoons / 75 g unsalted butter

2 small onions, thinly sliced

fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 ounces / 150 g porcini or chanterelle mushrooms

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

leaves from 2 sprigs of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

1 pound / 450 g duck leg confit

5 ounces / 150 g pork sausage, removed from its casing

3 large eggs

¼ cup / 60 ml crème fraîche

¼ cup / 50 ml armagnac

leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh thyme

 ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

 1 pound / 450 g frozen puff pastry, thawed

 5 ounces / 150 g duck foie gras, cut into chunks


1. Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C.

2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons / 30 g of the butter over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft and golden, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a plate.

3. In the same pan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons / 45 g of butter. Add the porcini and sauté over a high heat for 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute. Scatter the parsley into the pan and remove from the heat.

4. Remove the skin and bones from the duck legs and discard. In a large bowl, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Combine with the sausage meat, cooked onion and mushrooms, 2 of the eggs, the crème fraîche, Armagnac, thyme and nutmeg.

5. Lightly roll out the puff pastry sheets and then cut out two 11-inch / 28-cm rounds. Line a 9-inch / 23-cm pie dish with one round of dough. Add the meat mixture and then scatter the chunks of foie gras all over. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with the second round of dough. Seal by pressing together the two pieces of dough with your thumbs. Cut off the excess dough, reroll it, and cut out forest-themed shapes, such as leaves (5 or 6), to decorate. Press the leaves on the dough. Lightly beat the remaining egg and brush the pie with it.

6. Bake until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Photography by Oddur Thorisson

French-Country-Cooking by Mimi Thorisson is available now from good shops that sell books and online at Amazon and Waterstones