Roast Squab Pigeon, Braised Baby Gem Lettuce, Mushy Peas, Smoked Saddleback Bacon and Lemon Thyme Juices

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Preparation info

  • Main course - Serves

    two

    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      1 hr

Appears in

Loose Birds & Game

Loose Birds & Game

By Andrew Pern

Published 2010

  • About

I LOVE SQUAB PIGEON, AND ESPECIALLY WITH BRAISED LETTUCE AND DEEP, SMOKED SADDLEBACK BACON, WHICH WE LEAVE IN DECENT SIZED PIECES, AND SERVE WITH A PEA PURÉE [OUR VERSION OF MUSHY PEAS] AND A CREAMED, MEATY VELOUTÉ, MADE WITH THE PIGEON CARCASSES AND FINISHED WITH LEMON THYME FROM OUR HERB PATCH. DELICIOUS!

Ingredients

  • 2 whole squab pigeon, dressed
  • 2 rashers of bacon
  • 6 cubes of smoked bacon
  • 50 ml Madeira wine
  • 200 ml veal stock
  • 20 g butter, diced and chilled
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • seasoning

    Method

    Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Roast off the dressed pigeons after first covering the breasts with a rasher of bacon. Season and cook for 12 minutes for rare. Whilst these are cooking, gently braise the lettuce halves in a little of the chicken stock and lemon thyme in a shallow tray or pan. Season and cover with foil for approximately 15 minutes.

    To Make the Mushy Peas

    Bring 200 ml chicken stock to the boil, drop in the peas and the finely chopped shallots, ½ clove of garlic. Cook for 4 minutes, then cool slightly and purée in a food processor. Add a drop of double cream and the fresh mint. Check seasoning and keep warm.

    Remove the pigeon from the oven, remove from the roasting tray and allow to rest, keeping warm. Drain off the excess fat from the roasting tray, place on the heat and add the bacon cubes, colouring lightly. Add the Madeira and reduce by half, then add the veal stock reducing down by three quarters. Lift out the bacon cubes and pass the sauce through a fine chinois. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Add a couple of dices of chilled butter and the rest of the thyme leaves. Check seasoning.

    To present the dish, carve the breasts and the legs from the birds, spoon some of the ‘mushy pea purée’ onto the plate, with the warm cubes of bacon and finally the pigeon. Spoon over the sauce, garnish with a sprig of thyme and serve immediately.