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Wild Food – Seasonal Cookery ~ by liz

Wild Food  -  Seasonal Cookery

What better way to be in touch with our beautiful countryside than to enjoy the best wild and cultivated produce that the season has to offer.  Connect with nature for the best nutritional value, low food miles and fantastic flavours. 

Pan fried pigeon breasts with port jus, served with red onion, wild mushroom and plum relish.

Serves 4

Cooking time 10 mins

Great served with roast potatoes and seasonal greens  

You need:

  • 4 pigeons prepared for 2 breast fillets per person
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Port (or full bodied hedgerow equivalent such as elderberry wine)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • 2 handfuls of fungi such as field or horse mushrooms
  • Juice of 1 orange (ok, so maybe a compromise here!)
  • A handful of plums pitted and coarsely chopped (other seasonal fruit could easily be substituted)
  • A sprinkling of brown sugar

 For the relish:

1.       Fry off the red onion in some of the olive oil until softened.

2.       Add the chopped mushrooms and brown off.

3.       Add the orange juice and plums and simmer until most of the juice has reduced.

4.       Sprinkle in the brown sugar.

5.       Add a dash of port and reduce again. 

For the pigeon:

1.       Make sure the oil in the frying pan is really hot

2.       Crush the garlic and fry off for 30 seconds.

3.       Add the pigeon breasts and brown off for 2 mins on each side.

4.       Set the meat aside to keep warm

5.       Add port to the pan to deglaze.

6.       Slice the pigeon breast and serve with the warm relish.

If you’d like to learn more about game preparation, wild foods or bushcraft, have a look at the courses run in Wharfedale, North Yorkshire by Dan Watson, the North of England Agent.  Visit www.dwwp.co.uk or e-mail [email protected]

Posted in: Practical Guides, Woodland Activities ~ On: 16 November, 2007

5 comments so far

Suzanne Garner
4 August, 2008

Hello there,
I have found an interesting pdf. document about oaks and their acorns and how they can be used at; http://www.californiaoaks.org/ExtAssets/acorns_and_eatem.pdf
This may be interesting for anyone wanting to experiment with using acorns in cooking.
I found it really interesting and useful!!

Ron Graham
14 December, 2007

Hi Tracy.
Try roasting the acorns, they make a good coffee substitute

Tracy Pepler
23 November, 2007

Thanks Dan!
Maybe wine is better to make than nuts anyway!

I did read somewhere that you could just let the squirrels eat the nuts and then eat the squirrels, but not sure I am ready for that :-)

Dan Watson
21 November, 2007

Hi Tracy, acorns and other nuts are full of cabohidrates and other fats however as you have found out they are difficult to process. My only experience with Oak related food is of using the new spring leaves to make a very palettable wine, have a look at Roger Philips ‘Wild food’ for a good recipe. Dan.

Tracy Pepler
19 November, 2007

Thanks for that! Just have to get round to killing a pigeon then!
Do you have an experience with acorns? We have dried, peeled, boiled and then roasted them and they are ok, but not THAT good. They go ok into a curry!
But they preparation time and water needed was huge, unless starving won’t be doing that again too soon!
Tracy

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