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Pigeon with mead – by Guillaume Lebrun

11 September 2006

Guillaume Lebrun uses squab pigeon from France as he says this is where he obtains the best- quality birds. The mead adds a definite Irish touch. Produced in Bunratty County Clare the drink is a mix of honey and spices with the addition of fermented grapes to give it an alcoholic kick.

"Mead is an Irish thing. I visited Bunratty Castle and they gave us a welcome drink of mead and I thought it was really good. So I visited the nearby factory that makes the mead and thought ‘why not order it for the restaurant?'."

Ingredients

(serves two)

2 pigeons
2 shallots
100ml mead
1 pinch cinnamon
8 lightly roasted almonds

Method

Preheat oven to 220°C. Season the birds with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil and butter in a pan and cook the birds for five minutes on each side and three minutes on their backs. Remove from pan reserving the juice and let them rest for about five minutes.

Sweat the shallots in the same pan add cinnamon and cook until it is a light fawn colour.

Deglaze with the mead and reduce with the reserved juice by two-thirds.

Beat in 30g of butter and then put it through a sieve. Add the almonds.

To serve remove legs and breast from the birds and arrange on a hot plate. Pour over the sauce.

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