Head Chef at Roux at Parliament Square Steve Groves shares his Wood Pigeon, Beetroot, Red Chicory, Blackberries, Buckwheat recipe.

Steve Grove’s Wood Pigeon, Beetroot, Red Chicory, Blackberries, Buckwheat
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • For the pigeon
  • 1 tbsp Pomace Oil
  • 4 x Skinless wood pigeon crowns
  • 50g Unsalted Butter
  • 3 Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • For the beetroot
  • 12 Baby Beetroot
  • 1 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
  • 4 Thyme Sprigs
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • For the sauce
  • 80ml Ruby port
  • 400ml White chicken stock (not from concentrate)
  • 20g unsalted butter, cold
  • To finish
  • 12 Blackberries, cut in half crosswise
  • 30g Toasted Buckwheat
  • 30g Toasted sunflower seeds
  • 1 Red Chicory
  • A handful of bulls blood lettuce
Method
  1. For the Pigeon

    Pre heat oven to 180°c.
    Heat a frying pan over a high heat, add the oil and heat until just starting to smoke. Season the pigeon crowns with some salt and add to the frying pan, colour all over.
    Reduce the heat and allow pan to cool slightly before adding the butter, thyme and garlic. When the butter is foaming, spoon some over the crowns - ensure the crowns are bone side down and place in the oven for 4 minutes. Remove from the oven and take the crowns out of the pan, rest in a warm place.
    Pour the butter over the pigeon. Keep the pan for the sauce but be careful of the hot handle!

    NB if you do not have an oven proof handle on your frying pan transfer to a roasting dish for the oven part of the recipe.
  2. For the sauce

    Place the pan from roasting the pigeon over a high heat and add the port to deglaze the pan. Boil the port until almost entirely evaporated. Add the chicken stock and boil until a coating consistency is achieved. Test by seeing if it lightly coats a spoon.
    Whilst still on the heat stir in the butter to give the sauce a glossy finish.

    NB It is important to use a fresh stock as the natural gelatin in it will give the sauce body. A stock from concentrate will also result in a salty sauce. Fresh stocks are available from most supermarkets or some quality butchers.
  3. For the beetroot

    Clean the beetroot then add to a saucepan, cover with cold water and add all of the other ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for around 10-15 minutes or until the beetroot is tender - check with the tip of a small knife. Allow to cool slightly in the cooking liquid.
    Once cool enough to handle, peel away the skins - if they’re cooked properly the skins should slide off quite easily.
  4. To finish

    Remove the breasts from the pigeon crowns and arrange on the plate.
    Warm the beetroot and blackberries in the sauce and spoon onto the plate, make sure you spoon some sauce over the breasts.
    Sprinkle the buckwheat and sunflower seeds over the breasts.
    Break the chicory down into individual leaves, large ones cut in half.
    Arrange the chicory and bulls blood on the plate and serve.

    Photo Credit: Miles Willis