Roast wood pigeon, peas, wild garlic, black pudding purée and liver toast

The Recipes / Game

Cliveden, Berkshire

4 whole wood pigeons, feathered and intact
Rapeseed oil
100g duck fat
100g salted butter
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 sprigs thyme
Seasoning

Black pudding puree
1 boudin noir
20ml apple vinegar
30ml double cream

Liver toast
50g foie gras
20g salted butter
1 sprig thyme, chopped
Splash of armagnac
1 small baguette

Sauce
40g chopped carrot
40g chopped shallot
40g chopped celery
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 sprigs thyme
1 pinch coriander seeds
1 bay leaf
40ml madeira
400ml good veal stock

Garnish
200g fresh peas, podded
1 bunch wild garlic
12 baby onions
20 morel mushrooms
150g butter

www.clivedenhouse.co.uk

Serves 4

Your butcher will pluck and clean the pigeons if you like, but purchasing intact is best. When plucked singe the birds lightly with the blowtorch to remove any remaining feathers. Take off and set aside the legs; remove the wings, wishbone and innards, keeping the hearts and livers for the toast.

Tie the bird for roasting, seasoning inside and out. Heat a large frying pan with a little oil and sear the birds slowly all over, being careful not to overdo the breast meat and paying particular attention to the back and sides. Add the butter, garlic and thyme and baste the birds gently as they brown. Transfer to the oven at 160˚C for about 10 minutes, turning every 2 minutes, to cook to a nice pink: test the firmness of the flesh with your fingers, the meat should be firm but bounce back easily. Take out of the pan and rest on a tray in a warm place, then remove the breasts and chop the carcass for the sauce. Warm and slice the breasts in two immediately before serving.

Colour the sauce vegetables in a large pan. Add the garlic, thyme and coriander and the chopped carcasses and trimmings, deglaze with a little water, and reduce to glaze the bones until dry. Repeat with the madeira, then add the stock, bring to the boil, skim, and turn down the heat. Simmer gently for an hour or so to extract all the flavours, then strain to a smaller pan and reduce until coating the back of a spoon. Season to taste and strain again.

Singe the legs with the blowtorch. Melt the duck fat, add the legs, and allow to confit slowly on a very low heat, being careful not to boil, for about an hour. Leave to cool in the pan, then remove from the fat. Before serving crisp in the oven at 160˚C for about 10 minutes and season.

Heat the vinegar and cream for the purée. Skin and chop the black pudding, add to the blender, pour in the vinegar and cream and blend. Season and keep warm.

Chop and mix the foie gras and the reserved livers and hearts. Add the butter to a small frying pan over a medium heat and let it foam, then add the liver mix and sauté fast. Season and add the thyme, and lastly the armagnac. Slice the baguette lengthwise
and toast, spreading with liver mix, when ready to serve.

Pod the peas, pick the stalks from the wild garlic, peel the baby onions keeping the roots intact, trim and wash the morels and allow to dry. Bring the onions and 100g of butter to the boil in a small pan half filled with water and seasoned with salt and a pinch of sugar. Reduce the heat and cook gently until cooked through. Strain and reduce the stock to a glaze, toss the onions to coat, then set aside.

Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the peas for 1 minute, then strain. Return the dry pan to the stove, turn up the heat and melt 50g of butter, then cook the mushrooms gently for 2-3 minutes; when tender add and toss the peas and wild garlic leaves, and lastly the baby onions.