Bring a pan of water to the boil, cook
the cabbage leaves for 1 min, then drain
and place in cold water. Once cool,
drain and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Heat the oil and butter in a large frying
pan. Sear the pigeon for about 30 secs
on each side until browned, then transfer
to a plate and set aside the pan as is.
Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7.
When the pigeon has rested, make 4
parcels by sandwiching 2 breasts
together, wrapping them tightly in the
cabbage leaves, then criss-crossing
2 slices of pancetta over the parcel
to secure. Set aside.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out the
pastry until it’s the thickness of a £1 coin.
Cut out 4 x 12cm circles and place on
a greased baking tray. Sit a cabbage
parcel in the middle of each circle. Roll the pastry
trimmings out again and cut out 4 more
circles about 16cm in diameter. Brush
the edges of the pastry on the tray
with the beaten egg, then drape over
the larger circles and pat them round to
make a large ‘ravioli’, trying to expel any
air. With a fork, push the sides together.
Brush the pies generously with egg, poke
a small airhole in the top of each, then
sprinkle with salt flakes, if you like. Bake
the pies for 20 mins until the pastry is
dark golden. Remove and leave to rest
for 10 mins.
Meanwhile, make your gravy. Put the
pan with the pigeon cooking juices back
on the heat and sizzle the shallot until
golden. Stir in the flour and cook for a few
mins until sandy. Add the blackberries
and cassis (if using), Port and wine, then
bubble down. Add the stock and simmer
for a few mins until you have a gravy.
Set aside and reheat when the pies are
ready. To serve, carefully carve each
pie in half so you see the cross section
of breast, and serve with a little of the
sauce poured around.