Pigeon with beetroot barley risotto

11 September 2006
Pigeon with beetroot barley risotto


Grind together in a spice or coffee mill 10g or one parteach of cumin coriander cinnamon cardamon star anise and galangal.


Melt about 500g or1lb goose fat in a pan. Add about 50 large peeled cloves of garlic. Cook over a very low flame until tender. Cool and reserve.


1kg/2¼lb chopped pigeon bones
200g/7oz mirepoix (onion carrot celery)
200g/7oz mushroom trimmings
4 cloves garlic
olive oil
300ml/½pint red wine (eg. Cornas)
1½ litres/2½ pints veal stock
1 bay leaf
sprig of thyme

Toss the bones mirepoix mushrooms and garlic in a little oil and brown in a hot oven. Deglaze the pan with wine. Add the stock and herbs. Bring to the boil and skim. Simmer for 1½ hours skimming any fat which rises to the surface. Strain and reserve.


(serves four)

(more than you need but it's not practical to prepare smaller quantities)

60g/2oz butter
150g/5½oz diced beetroot
75g/3oz finely diced onion
150g/5½oz pearl barley (don't soak it)
300ml/½ pintsimmering seasoned white chicken stock
30g/1oz parmesan


4 chopped pigeon carcasses plus legs and wings
30ml/1fl oz light sherry vinegar
30ml/1fl oz ruby port
150ml/¼pint red wine
500ml/18fl oz pigeon jus
15g/½oz bitterchocolate
15g/½oz butter


8 wood pigeonbreasts
8tsp spice mixture
25g/1oz goose fat


sliced liver and hearts of 4 pigeons sautéd in goose fat
100g/3½oz diced beetroot
12 cloves of garlic confit heated in its fat


Melt half the butter in a pan and sweat the beetroot and onion until soft.

Add the barley and toss in the mixture till shiny and red. Add the stock a ladle at a time as for a classic risotto. When the liquid has been absorbed and the barley is just aldente beat in the butter and then parmesan.

Lightly brown the bones for the sauce. Deglaze with sherry vinegar. When it has evaporated repeat the deglaçage with port. Add the wine and reduce by a half. Moisten with stock and reduce again to about 300ml/½pint.

Pass the sauce into a clean pan and beat in first the chocolate and then the butter.

Strain taste season and for balance maybe add a final dash of vinegar. Keep hot.

Rub the pigeon breasts with spice mix. Sauté in goose fat for twominutes each side and rest.


Rest one pigeon breast against a 60g/2oz mound of risotto and the other to one side. Scatter the garnishes (liver heart beetroot and garlic) around the plate and drizzle a little sauce on to the plate.

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