While I know the name of this recipe may seem scary, I promise you that it is super easy, super delicious and perfect for a quick early Autumn dinner party starter. While these raspberries came from our vegetable plot, and the pigeons were shot here on the farm by my Father, then butchered by me, everything you need you can easily find at the farmers market, or at a good butcher and your local supermarket. Do you remember that time I tried to get you all to eat pheasant? Well, this is even easier than that. And cheaper, too.
The reason I specify 'wood pigeon' is because the birds that flit around the treetops and eat all of our lettuce and bok choy out of the vegetable plot here in the countryside are very different creatures from the horrible and filthy city pigeons I'm always avoiding in London. I would not recommend you eat those, I'm not crazy!
I'd call pigeon a good entry level game bird. It does not have as strong a game flavour as others, and has a bit more in common with the taste of chicken. Sometimes you can find it at the supermarket, but I'd head to a good local butcher or the farmers market. I'm personally a fan of Furness Fish & Game at Borough Market.
While the raspberry and balsamic reduction sounds fancy, all it is is heated and mashed raspberries put through a sieve with vinegar added and heated up again until it has reduced a little. It can also be made ahead (so can the toasted pine nuts) making your dinner party life much, much easier. You can thank me later.
For the full recipe, and a bit more about why you should be sourcing, cooking and eating wood pigeon head over to Great British Chefs. Also, I'd love to hear if any of you cook pigeon yourselves at home (alternative to just ordering it in a restaurant!) How do you like to cook it, what do you like to serve it with? Do you like working with the whole bird, or do you favour just the breasts like me?