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Pigeon Casserole with Forcemeat Balls

4 pigeons

25g butter

25g butter

2 shallot finely chopped

150g streaky bacon

1 tbspn chopped parsley

1 large onion diced

25g shredded suet

2 carrots diced

finely grated rind ½ lemon

2 sticks celery diced

1 egg beaten

2 potatoes diced

sunflower oil

300 ml stock

1 tspn mixed herbs

100g soft white breadcrumbs

1 tbspn cornflour


Preheat oven to gas 3,150C, 325F. Brown pigeons all over in butter; remove and set aside while you soften bacon and vegetables in butter.

Pack pigeons and vegetables into a casserole dish; add stock, herbs and seasoning. Cover tightly and cook in the oven for 1 ½ - 2 hours until the pigeons are done. To make forcemeat balls melt butter in small pan and cook shallot until softened. Mix breadcrumbs with suet, lemon rind, parsley and seasoning.

Add onion and bind together with beaten egg. Form into walnut-sized balls and fry in hot sunflower oil until golden.

Before serving thicken the juice with slaked cornflour and add forcemeat balls.

Saute of Pigeon Breast with Green Lentils

for 4

8 pigeon breasts

2 tbspns olive oil

1 clove garlic, crushed

3 tbspns red wine

250 ml stock

25g butter

150g green lentils

2 shallots finely sliced

1 tbspn balsamic vinegar


Marinade the pigeon breasts overnight in oil, garlic, red wine and black pepper. Boil lentils gently for about 20 minutes until soft; drain. Dry pigeon breasts thoroughly and flatten each one slightly with a rolling pin. Fry them in very hot butter for about 3 minutes on each side and put to rest on a warm dish for 5 minutes. Meanwhile reheat the lentils, season and moisten with some of the stock. Fry the shallot in the pan in which you cooked the breasts; add the rest of the stock and the balsamic vinegar, stir well and reduce slightly. Put a pile of lentils on each plate, slice each breast diagonally into four slices and lay on top of the lentils; then pour the sauce over the meat.

Saute of Pigeon Breast with Root Vegetables

for 4

8 pigeon breasts

2 tbspn olive oil

1 clove garlic.crushed

4 sprigs thyme

3 tbspn red wine

1 small celeriac

1 small swede

2 parsnips

8 baby onions

4 carrots

50g butter

1 sprig rosemary

1 bay leaf

300 ml red wine

1 tspn tomato puree

500 ml stock


Marinade the pigeon breasts in oil, garlic, thyme, red wine and black pepper. Peel vegetables and cut into large dice. Heat butter and add all the vegetables and herbs; cook for about 10 minutes until colouring.

Meanwhile boil the red wine hard to reduce to 100ml. Add wine, stock and tomato puree to the vegetables and simmer uncovered until the vegetables are tender and the liquid well reduced. Check the seasoning.

Fry the pigeon breasts as in the previous recipe; leave to rest, carve and serve laid in slices on top of the braised vegetables.

Pigeon and Steak Pie

for 8

4 tbspn sunflower oil

8 pigeon breasts

900g braising steak

2 rashers bacon

2 large onions sliced

225g mushrooms sliced

1 tbspn plain flour

300 ml stock
300 ml red wine

1 tbspn redcurrant jelly

350g puff pastry


Heat oil and brown pigeon breasts and steak well on all sides; set aside.

Add bacon and onions and fry gently until onions are soft; add mushrooms and cook 1 minute. Stir in the flour and gradually add stock and wine and bring to the boil. Add redcurrant jelly and season. Put the meat, pigeon breasts and sauce into in a pie dish and leave to cool.

Preheat oven to gas 6, 200C, 400F. Roll out the pastry and cover the pie. Bake for 20 minutes and then lower oven to gas 4,180C, 350F and cook for a further 30 minutes.

Pigeon Paté with Orange

4 pigeon breasts

375 g pork sausage meat

125g streaky bacon

1 orange grated rind and juice

pinch dried thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tbspn brandy

2 cloves garlic

½ tspn ground nutmeg

2 shallots finely diced

1 egg

Slice the breasts into fingers and leave to marinade in orange juice, rind, brandy and garlic. Preheat oven to gas 3,160C, 325F. Chop bacon into thin strips and add to pork sausage meat with shallot, nutmeg, thyme,egg and seasoning.

Mix together thoroughly. Grease a 500g loaf tin and put a layer of pork mixture into it; then a layer of pigeon fingers, continue making alternate layers finishing with a layer of pork. Put the bay leaf on top and cover tightly with foil. Stand the tin in a baking dish and surround with boiling water; bake for 1''4 hours.

Leave to cool with a weights on top of it. Do not turn out of tin until 24 hours later.