Saturday, 19 November 2011

Chunky pigeon broth

The weather is gradually turning colder, the leaves are falling and the pigeons are beginning to flock to their winter roosts.
A lightly-spiced broth is a great winter warmer; the ideal supper to tuck into after an evening’s roost shooting. You can serve it on rice or with chips but I prefer it with a couple of chunks of crusty bread.
Pigeon is a very dark, rich meat and some people find it rather strong but this recipe is subtle enough even for people who don’t like their meat too gamey. Frying the meat in the butter, shallot and garlic at the start infuses it with wonderful, sweet flavours.

To serve two
Breast meat from one or two pigeons (depending on how meaty you want it)
2 medium potatoes
1 medium parsnip
2 large carrots
4 shallots (or one onion)
1 clove of garlic
1 vegetable stock cube
1 knob of butter
½ teaspoon of ground cumin
1 pint of water
Salt and pepper

Finely chop the shallots and roughly dice the carrots, parsnip and potatoes. Cut pigeon breast meat into cubes of between half and one inch.
Melt the knob of butter in a saucepan, add the shallots and fry gently until soft. Then crush in the garlic clove, add the pigeon meat and fry for three or four minutes until it begins to turn brown.
Add the water and chopped vegetables and bring to the boil. Stir in the stock cube and the cumin and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables become soft. The finished consistency should be that of a thick stew – not watery like a soup but with enough cooking juice to cover the chunks in a thick sauce.
Add salt and pepper to taste, and maybe a touch more cumin, and serve.

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