Served with Braised Spring Onions, Carrot Puree, Isle of Wight Wild Mushrooms & Game Bird sauce
The Pond Cafe
By Jo Bennett ‐ Head Chef
2 Whole wood pigeons
1tsp Olive oil
20g IW wild mushroom
For the braised spring onions
1 Bunch spring onions
2 tbsp Butter
Salt & Pepper
For the carrot puree
1 Carrot peeled and chopped, boiled until tender and drained
1 tbsp Butter
2 tsp Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the game bird sauce
Carcasses of 2 roasted Wood Pigeon
75ml Red wine
225ml Vegetable stock
2 Juniper berries, crushed
1 Sprig of fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1/2 Bay leaf
2 tbsp Double cream
Salt & pepper to taste
To make the pigeon
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C, place a tray in the oven to heat up. Remove the legs, wings and wish bone from the pigeon and put to one side ready to go into oven with the breasts.
2. Heat a little oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and season the pigeon breasts with salt. Seal in the pan until golden brown all over. Keeping the frying pan to one side for the mushrooms, transfer the pigeon breasts to the heated tray along with the legs, wings and wish bone. Then roast the pigeon for 6 minutes, remove from the oven and rest for 5‐10 minutes before serving.
To make the braised spring onions
3. Place spring onions into a small frying pan. Add 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup water and season with salt. Bring to the boil, cover, reduce the heat and simmer onions until the greens are soft and bulbs are almost tender. This will take about 15 ‐ 20 minutes. Uncover and cook, turning onions occasionally, until bulbs are completely tender, may take 5 ‐ 8 minutes longer.
To make the carrot puree
4. Place the cooked carrot into a food processor with the butter and oil. Season to taste and blend until smooth.
To make the game bird sauce
5. Place the roasted pigeon wings, legs and wish bone in a saucepan heating them through. Add the brandy and ignite. When the flames have died down, pour in the red wine letting it bubble over a high heat to reduce by half.
6. Pour in vegetable stock, juniper berries, thyme and bay leaf. Once again, let it reduce by half. Add the cream and simmer for about 3mins.
7. Pass through a fine mesh sieve into a clean pan and season to taste.
To make the mushrooms
8. Quickly fry the mushrooms in the same pan you cooked the pigeon in. These only need 2mins to cook. Any longer will ruin their beautiful flavour.
To assemble the dish
9. Place carrot puree on a warm plate in a stripe across the plate. Place braised spring onions on to one side of the plate in a criss cross pattern. Warm sauce gently whilst placing mushrooms around the plate. Cut pigeon off the bone and arrange on the plate drizzling the sauce lightly over the top.