Monday, 19, October 2015
Recipe: Pigeon Breast with a warm Waldorf salad
An autumnal recipe from the head chef at The Bristol.
We waxed lyrical about the glory of game season recently on the blog, and now we have a recipe for a gorgeous autumnal dish. Matt Lord, head chef at The Bristol hotel, is extremely passionate about using local, seasonal ingredients, and has come up trumps with a menu for the new season that celebrates everything the region has to offer.
This dish is perfect for a small dinner party, served with a spicy, warming red wine and perhaps a side of celeriac and potato gratin. Matt sources his pigeon from Ruby and White in Bristol – if you’re not based in the area then find a good local butcher and ask if they can get hold of some for you. This recipe serves four.
For the pigeon breast…
4 wood pigeon breasts
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
5 cloves garlic
200ml extra virgin olive oil
For the salad…
1 head celery
2 red apples
20g celery leaves
1 egg white
For the port reduction…
METHOD OF PREPERATION
Start with the pigeon. Marinate the pigeon breasts in the olive oil, combined with the herbs and garlic.
Make the salad by peeling and cutting the celery into 8cm batons, keeping the natural shape of the stalks. Whip the egg whites and place in a tray with the walnuts, salt and sugar, then bake at 140˚c for 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes.
Make the port reduction by reducing the port down until it begins to thicken to a syrup, over a medium to high heat (being careful the reduction doesn’t burn). The natural sugars will create a sticky, glossy syrup.
Pan-fry the pigeon breast over a medium heat, in oil and butter, for 2-3 minutes. Pigeon is best served pink, so remove it from the pan and then rest for 5 minutes. While the pigeon is resting, wipe out the pan and add more butter. Toss the celery in the pan until it begins to soften, then add slices of red apple and the walnuts, and cook for a few minutes.
Arrange the apple and walnuts in the bottom of a warmed large bowl or plate, slice the pigeon in half and then drizzle with walnut oil and port reduction, and garnish the plate with watercress.