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Clay pigeon shoot

Fragrant spices mixed with pigeon, served in a tagine gives this dish a North African flavour.


For the pigeon stock
For the tagine gravy
For the pigeon rolls
For the salad
For the pigeon
To finish the tagine

Preparation method

  1. For the pigeon stock, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Place the pigeon bones into a roasting tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes, until they brown.

  2. Heat a large pan with a splash of oil, add the carrots, onion, mushrooms, garlic, ginger, star anise, cloves, cinnamon stick and cook until the veg begins to soften being careful not to colour them. Add the Madeira, turn up the heat and reduce by half. Then add the roasted bones, cover with 2 litres/3½ pints water and simmer for 35 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and reserve the stock.

  3. For the tagine gravy, heat a saucepan with a little oil, add the shallots and bacon and cook until the shallots begin to soften. Add the pigeon stock and reduce to a fine gravy consistency, this should leave you with about 300ml/10floz of liquid.

  4. For the pigeon rolls, place the legs into a deep-sided tray, sprinkle salt all over and leave for an hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  6. Heat the duck fat in a deep-sided, heavy based pan, and bring up to a boil. Once boiling, pour the hot duck fat over the pigeon legs, transfer the tray to the oven, and cook for two hours.

  7. Remove the legs from the fat and leave to cool and drain on kitchen paper. Once cool enough to handle, flake the meat from the legs into a bowl. Add the sliced almonds, shallots, blood orange zest, prunes, ground cinnamon, saffron and parsley. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix together until combined.

  8. Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.

  9. Lightly whisk the egg yolks together, lay out one sheet of spring roll pastry, brush with egg yolk and lay another on top. Place a sausage sized amount of the duck mix onto the pastry and roll the pastry over into a sausage, brush the ends with egg yolk and seal. Repeat the process five more times. Place the pigeon rolls onto a tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for eight minutes.

  10. For the salad, heat a grill to medium-high, and grill the bacon until both sides are crisp. Remove the bacon from the grill and chop as finely as possible, until you have a bacon crumb.

  11. Place the sliced fennel into a bowl and season with the sugar, salt and pepper, to taste. Add the blood orange segments, grapes and pea shoots and drizzle with a little olive oil and argan oil. Sprinkle the bacon crumb over to finish.

  12. For the pigeon breasts, preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3, place the oil and butter into an oven proof non-stick frying pan, and bring up to a high heat, add the pigeon breasts and brown on all sides, transfer to the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pigeon breasts from the pan and set aside to rest for five minutes.

  13. To serve, place the salad into a warmed tagine or serving dish, pour over the tagine gravy, followed by the pigeon breasts and finish with a drizzle of argan oil. Serve with the pigeon rolls on the side.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

Over 2 hours cooking time

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Great British Menu 20. Northern Ireland Judging bbc_two Great British Menu

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