Pigeon: the Black Forest

A classic dessert becomes a savoury dish. Thanks to a successful rendition of the fowl by Boer

Pigeon: the Black Forest, a “savoury” dish pre

Pigeon: the Black Forest, a “savoury” dish presented at the finals of Premio Birra Moretti Grand Cru by Eugenio Boer, chef at Enocratia in Milan, tel. +39.02.36525816

The Black Forest is represented by the almonds, the cream and the chocolate… In a game of changing roles between sweet and savoury, the Black Forest is also characterised by the Birra Moretti Grand Cru glaze of the wing and the breast of the pigeon, the herbaceous scent of the beer supported by the nasturtium leaves and the fruitiness of the cherries. It’s also represented by the touch of spicy character given by the Sechuan pepper, together with the warm note of the foie gras which attenuates the iron notes of the meat, enhancing it.

Pigeon: the Black Forest

Recipe for 2 people

1 whole pigeon (with its entrails: heart and liver)
2 pigeon carcasses
15 cherries
2 foie gras escalopes
200 ml of cream
50 g of 72% Weiss dark chocolate
10 nasturtium leaves
30 g of bitter almonds in flakes
20 g of flour
1 egg white
20 g of butter
1 carrot
1 celery stalk
1 golden onion
2 scallions
1 rosemary sprig
lemon juice to taste
750 cl of Birra Moretti Grand Cru
salt to taste
Sechuan black pepper to taste

for the pâté
Clean the pigeon according to the traditional method: remove the head, the end of the wings and the feet up to the ankles. Singe the pigeon to remove the residual feathers and even the subcutaneous ones.
Divide the pigeon: remove the wings which will then be cooked with the confit technique, cut the two thighs up to the thigh-bone and the rib cage up to mid length of the back, to remove the entrails. Keep the heart and liver and cook them in a pan with the scallion, making sure they are nicely seared. Add 20 cl of Birra Moretti Grand Cru and the rosemary sprig.
Once it is well cooked, remove the rosemary and blend. The resulting pâté will be used to fill the thighs.

Rthe perfect match: Birra Moretti La Rossa

Rthe perfect match: Birra Moretti La Rossa

for the thighs, breast and the pigeon wings
Remove the thigh-bone from the thighs, leaving only the shinbone. Open up the meat of the thigh, add salt and pepper and fill it with the pâté. Close with cling-film and foil and bake in an unventilated oven at 110°C for 14 minutes.
Leave to cool and clean the shinbone to use it as the stick of a lollipop. Finish off the top part of the thigh in the shape of a cylinder.
Roll it in the flour, then in the beaten egg white and in the almond flakes and bake again in an unventilated oven at 200°C for 3 minutes together with the breasts, previously pan-fried. Keep warm.
Leave the pigeon breasts still attached to the carcass for about 5 minutes so the juices are equally distributed. Only after this, remove the breasts from the carcass and seal them in the pan.
Cook the wings with the scallion, butter and Birra Moretti Grand Cru until glazing is complete.

for the foie gras mousse
Remove the internal veins and the residues of coagulated blood from the 2 foie gras escalopes and leave overnight to marinated in the milk. Reduce the cream to 1/3 on a low heat and add the 2 foie gras escalopes. Once the cream is reduced, season with salt and pepper. Blend and sieve the mixture.

for the pigeon gravy
Toast the carcasses of the pigeon in the oven at 200°C for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a casserole, sear a mirepoix of carrots, celery and onions. Add the carcasses and the beer. Let all the alcohol evaporate, then add the vegetable stock and cook for about 6 hours on a very low heat.
Pass the mixture through the muslin, continue to reduce until it becomes thick. Divide the sauces into two equal parts: aromatize the first using only beer, add both beer and the 72% dark chocolate to the other sauce.

for the cherries
Cut the cherries in half and remove the stones. Fill one half with the foie gras mousse, add the other to the two sauces: the one with the pure beer and the one with the beer and chocolate and use to garnish.

Also by Eugenio Boer: There’s a tuber in my dessert


A tutta birra

The recipes and the best moments of the second edition of Premio Birra Moretti Grand Cru