Wild pigeon cured with birch sap and citrus zest – by Chris Horridge

10 September 2008
Wild pigeon cured with birch sap and citrus zest – by Chris Horridge

(Serves 6-8)

6-8 boneless pigeon breasts, skin off (1 breast per starter portion)
50g low-sodium salt (eg, Solo)
50g xylitol
1 x 6in sprig of savory or thyme
3 bay leaves
5 gloves
9g garlic cloves
6 black peppercorns
Zest of 1 orange
Zest of 1 lemon
250ml birch sap wine
10 juniper berries

Method Crush all spices and herbs before using. Add the salt and xylitol to the wine and bring to the boil. Remove from stove and add the other ingredients. When cool, place pigeon in marinade, cover and chill. Turn every 12 hours, leaving for a total of 48 hours.

When the meat is sufficiently cured it should be fairly firm to the touch. If it still feels tender, then continue to marinate for a further 12 hours. Wipe off the excess marinade, wrap in clingfilm and freeze until solid. Unwrap and use a meat slicer to finely slice. We slice the pigeon breast lengthways, which allows us to roll it up around some herbs.

By Chris Horridge

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