These tiny marshland birds are traditionally skewered with their long beaks before roasting.
Good butchers and game dealers should be able to source snipes, but you’ll probably need to order them in advance as they’re not widely available. Snipes are considered to be at their best in December and January.
Snipe will roast in a matter of minutes, their breasts layered in bacon to prevent the meat from drying out. Roast small snipes for as little as five minutes if you want the meat cooked pink, or around 15 minutes for a well-done, slightly larger bird. Allow two snipes per person for a main course, or more for those with a hearty appetite. It’s traditional to roast snipes with the innards intact (with the exception of the hard gizzard, which should be removed). These are then scraped out, spread on buttered toast, and served under the roasted bird.