Forage, Feast & Enjoy

Welcome to menu 5 of my Forage n Feast recipes. I’ve stepped things up a bit this week with my main course, however, I’m hoping you don’t find it too intimidating. Just take it one step at a time, and I’d also recommend you make what you can a day in advance.

Forage, Feast & Enjoy

Forage, Hunt or Buy?

I’m lucky enough to have a local butcher that offers fresh game, however, I know that isn’t normally the case. Which is why I’ve included this link to wood pigeon, where you’ll find it at a reasonable price. That is to say, of course, that you’re not foraging/hunting for this ingredient. I personally, don’t have a problem with hunting, although it’s something I couldn’t do myself. Therefore, I’m so pleased that I do have my wonderful local butcher available!

Vegetarian/Vegan Choices

With the above in mind, I’m very much of the “pro choice” opinion, each to their own and so on. That said, I’m also mindful that it may be something you find offensive, or you may be vegetarian/vegan. In that case, I suggest you swap out the wood pigeon for jackfruit , red wine for white and leave out any of the other meat from the recipe. Also, if vegan, swap out the milk, cream and butter to an alternative that suits you. And, while you’re at it, replace the chicken stock with vegetable stock. Personally, I would swap out the prosciutto ham for roasted red peppers or celeriac…

Ingredients To Forage For

  • Wood Pigeon
  • Wood Sorrel
  • Wild Greens
  • Comfrey Leaves
  • Wild Mushrooms (optional)
  • Daisy Flower Heads (optional)

So, what do you think of this weeks menu? Are you up for it? You can let me know in the contents section below. If you do decide to go ahead with this recipe, let me know how your foraging adventure went for the ingredients. For instance, did you forage alone, take your kids, family or friends? Whatever you chose to do, why don’t you share it with everyone else, here, on my blog? And, in the meantime, take care, stay safe…..and….whatever you do, don’t forget to subscribe!

Starter

Comfrey - Forage, Feast & Enjoy

Comfrey Fritters on a Bed of Wild Greens Salad

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Keyword: Comfrey, Comfrey Fritters, Edible Weeds, forage, Wild Greens
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Author: Foragers Folly

Ingredients

Fritters:

  • 100 g gram flour batter chickpea
  • ¼ tsp mixed herbs
  • rapeseed oil for frying
  • 8 freshly picked young comfrey leaves

Salad

  • 4 large handfuls of wild greens anything in season (i.e. chickweed, miners lettuce, dandelion leaves, violet leaves)
  • 25 g sunflower seeds
  • Small handful of daisy flower heads optional
  • Pinch mixed herbs
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tbsp of balsamic vinegar

Instructions

Method:

  • Make batter by adding 100g gram flour with a little water, and mix until you have a thick consistency, a bit like custard. Add herbs to the batter (leave to stand for 10-30 mins before using).
  • Wipe the comfrey leaves through the batter, then deep fry them for 1 min in the rape seed oil. Drain, then place 2 fritters on top of each salad, and garnish with daisy flower heads.

Method

  • Mix up the wild greens, mixed herbs, and seeds in a bowl, then distribute evenly on 4 plates.
  • In a cup, add the sugar, oil and vinegar and mix well. Then drizzle a tbsp over salad on each plate.

Main

Pigeon

Pan Fried Breast of Wood Pigeon Served on Prosciutto Ham

Be careful not to overcook the pigeon breasts as they will become tough and inedible. They should be served rare to medium rare so that the flesh remains moist and tender.
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Author: Foragers Folly

Ingredients

Main Ingredients:

  • 4 wood pigeons drawn, with their livers if possible
  • ½ tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ tbsp of rape-seed oil
  • 8 slices of Prosciutto ham
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp red wine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 juniper berries
  • Dash of Cognac
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Sauce Ingredients

  • wood pigeon carcasses
  • 6 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely diced
  • 100 g button mushrooms (or swap out with seasonally available wild mushrooms) finely diced
  • 4 tbsp rape-seed oil
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 3 juniper berries crushed
  • 10 g smoked bacon
  • ¼ dried bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Cognac
  • 100 ml ruby port
  • 400 ml red wine
  • 130 ml chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp whipping cream optional
  • Can be made 1 day in advance

Garnish:

  • 12 Shallots
  • Pinch caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 20 tiny button mushrooms ((or swap out with seasonally available wild mushrooms)
  • 100 g smoked belly of pork
  • Can be made 1 day in advance

Instructions

The Sauce: (1hr)

  • Preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F/Gas 8
  • Chop all the pigeon carcasses. In a large thick-bottomed saucepan, sear the carcasses and legs in 3 tbsp hot oil for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the vegetables, thyme, crushed juniper berries, smoked bacon and ¼ bay leaf and sweat gently for 2-3 minutes.
  • Cook in the preheated oven for 15 minutes until the carcasses and vegetables are cooked through and turn a rich golden brown.
  • Pour off the cooking fat, then deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar and let it evaporate completely over a strong heat. Add the Cognac, port and red wine and bring to the boil. Skim and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced by half.
  • Pour in 400 ml cold water and the chicken stock and simmer for a further 20 minutes. Skim, then add the cream. Using a ladle, force the stock first through a hard sieve then through a fine sieve into another saucepan and reduce to about 200 ml of concentrated juices.
  • Taste and season. Meanwhile prepare the garnish

The Garnish and Prosciutto Ham: (35mins)

  • Place the shallots in a small saucepan with 6 tbsp water, 2 tsp butter, a tiny inch of sugar and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and cook at just below simmering point for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the shallots to caramelise in their juices.
  • Peel, but do not wash the mushrooms. Sauté in 1 tbsp butter until golden. Keep warm.
  • Cut the smoked pork belly into lardons, blanch in boiling water and sauté in 1 tsp butter.
  • Pan-fry the pigeon livers for 30 seconds in 1 tsp butter.
  • Set aside Prosciutto ham for further use.

Cooking the Pigeon Breasts: (5 mins + 5 mins resting)

  • Preheat the oven to 230 C/450 F/Gas 8
  • Remove the pigeon breasts from the marinade and pat dry.
  • In a large non-stick frying pan, heat ½ tbsp each of butter and oil until golden and foaming. Sear the breasts for 15 seconds on each side, then cook in the preheated oven for 3 minutes. Pour off the cooking fat, cover loosely with buttered foil and leave to rest, away from the heat, for 5 minutes.
  • Strain the juices reduced during the resting into the sauce.

Serving: (5 minutes)

  • Warm 4 plates or a large serving dish.
  • Warm the Prosciutto harm in the oven or under the grill for a few seconds and place 2 slices in the centre of each plate. Arrange the pigeon breast in the centre, pour the sauce over and around and scatter with shallots, lardons and button mushrooms. Serve immediately.
  • Be careful not to overcook the pigeon breasts as they will become tough and inedible. They should be served rare to medium rare so that the flesh remains moist and tender.

Notes

Planning Ahead: If possible, hunt for or order the wood pigeons well in advance, have them hung for 2 or 3 days. Ask your butcher (or do it yourself) to draw the birds, but to keep the livers if you are using them in the sauce. Bone the pigeons and marinate the breasts, with the skin on, in a covered dish in the fridge 1 day in advance. Keep the carcasses and legs for the sauce.

Dessert

forage, feast & enjoy

Wood Sorrel Ice Cream

A simple and delicious ice cream
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Course: Dessert
Keyword: ice cream, wood sorrel
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8 people
Author: Foragers Folly

Ingredients

Wood Sorrel Ice Cream

    Makes 8 Servings

    • 250 g double cream
    • 120 ml wood sorrel syrup
    • 250 g condensed milk
    • 1 handful fresh wood sorrel for garnish

    Wood Sorrel Syrup

      Makes approx. 900 ml, keeps up to a year until opened, then up to 1 month in the fridge.

      • 325 ml water
      • 600 g white sugar
      • 2 large handfuls fresh wood sorrel for syrup

      Instructions

      Ice Cream Method

      • Beat the cream for 1-2 mins, then mix with the wood sorrel syrup and condensed milk.
      • Put into a container then freeze. It’ll be ready to eat in 2-3 hours. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh wood sorrel as a garnish.

      Syrup Method

      • Make the syrup by boiling the water and sugar briskly for 3 mins. Then pour the plain syrup over the wood sorrel and leave to stand for 1-2 hours until cool. Strain and bottle.
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