Former Masterchef winner and Head Chef at Roux at Parliament Square Steve Groves shares his Wood Pigeon, Crapaudine Beetroot, Red Chicory, Blackberries, Buckwheat recipe. A wonderful showcase for the Crapaudine beetroot from Primeur de St-Malo. With gorgeous dark red flesh and a fantastically strong earthy taste, it works perfectly with the flavoursome wood pigeon and sweet blackberries.

Serves 4


For the Pigeon
1 tbsp Pomace Oil
4 skinless wood pigeon crowns
50g Estate Dairy Unsalted Cultured Butter
3 thyme sprigs
1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped finely

For the beetroot
12 Crapaudine 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 Estate Dairy Unsalted Cultured Butter, cold

To finish
12 blackberries, cut in half crosswise
30g Buckwheat, toasted
30g sunflower seeds, toasted
1 red chicory
a handful of bulls blood lettuce



          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 the 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

            Place the Crapaudine 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, spoon onto the plate and over the pigeon.

            Sprinkle the buckwheat and sunflower seeds over the pigeon.

            Finally, break down the chicory into individual leaves and arrange with the bulls blood lettuce.


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