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Pigeon with Sage and Garlic

6 lg Garlic cloves; peeled and thinly sliced
2 g (1oz) pancetta; cut into small pieces (lardons)
30 ml ( 1/2 pint) light olive oil
5 g (2oz) butter
16 Button onions; chopped
2 Pigeons; cleaned and halved
1 ts Sugar
3 tb Balsamic vinegar
8 Sage leaves

Place the garlic in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add the lardons and then pour on the oil. Bring slowly to the gentlest simmer, skim and cook slowly for 30 minutes, until very tender. Then remove from the heat and reserve. In a small pan, melt the butter and slowly fry the onions whole until soft and golden. Heat a heavy-bottomed frying pan and pour in a little oil. Season the pigeons well and place them in the pan. Thoroughly brown the birds all over and then place them in the oven for five minutes. Sprinkle the teaspoon of sugar over the onions and caramelise them very quickly. Add the balsamic vinegar, garlic and pancetta mixture and sage. Reduce the heat immediately. Remove the pigeons from the oven and put them on a plate. Pour the onions, garlic and pancetta mixture over them and serve.

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