Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall - and the demon drink

Apologies to HFW if you just Googled your own name and came across my title! and apologies to vegetarians - you may wish to skip this post.

So a while ago, I was at a neighbours party partaking in a few too many glasses of vino collapso and I  had a bit of a drunken conversation with another neighbour who partakes in a bit of "hunting, shooting and a fishing".  I had watched with interest a few nights previously good old HFW showing us how to pop the breasts out of a couple of pigeons - it looked easy and I thought I might like like to have a go (I may have had a glass of wine that night too!).  And so I mentioned this to my neighbour - then moved onto some other drivel topic of drunken conversation - as you do.

 The next evening - my neighbour shouted me across to his car.  He had indeed been shooting and had bagged me a couple of pigeons - as per my request. Quel Horreur!!!  I was supposed to carry them back to my house! Still warm!! Me and my mouth!!!

Hubby looked across at me, with that look on his face that says "Now what mess have you gotten yourself into?".

What could I do?  The kids were horrified - yet curios at the same time.  Hubby was just horrified and declared he couldn't start butchering them - I was on my own.  So I "manned up" (my son's phrase) and dove in - following Hugh's instruction.  It was surprisingly easy to extract the pigeon breasts once I got going and so I marinated them overnight in red wine (what else!) and garlic and a few herbs from the garden.
 The next day I flash fried them and served them with Ravioli (which is what we were going to have any way) and green beans - with a red wine reduction.  I'd never tried pigeon before and it tasted like a cross between really tender steak and pate - I liked it.
He now brings me a couple on a regular basis, and hubby even has a go at the butchery!  The kids are also impressed and feel that we are now better prepared to survive an apocalypse should one happen.

15 comments:

Rowan said...

Well done! Must admit I'm not sure whether I could do it - not through squeamishness but because I wouldn't know where to begin:) Pigeon pie is supposed to be rather nice too.

Louise said...

rather you than me! I'm a fussy vegetarian but I'm not squeamish about meat as my Grandad and Great Grandad ran a small family butchers in the peak district and I used to help out in the summer hols when I was little!

Glad you enjoyed it and were able to 'man up'. I'd rather leave it you you and Hugh Fearlessly EatsItAll

mandycharlie said...

Oh you lucky thing. I was brought up on pigeon breast stew and rabbit stew as my Uncle owned a farm a few miles away so my Father and Uncle used to go shooting for the pot nearly every Sunday.

I could skin and gut a rabbit by the age of ten! Breasts are the only thing worth having on a pigeon. Did you open up their crops to see what they have been feeding on? I used to find it fascinating to find out what they had been eating and always exclaimed as to how packed with grub they could fill their crop, literally until bursting point. Depending on what time the day they were shot of course, ours were mostly shot in the evening as they were heading back to their roost.

harmony and rosie said...

Hark at you! What an ace neighbour, it looks delicious.

Lx @ Twelve said...

Perhaps you should live next door to me, theres a wood pigeon that coo's every morning at 6.30am....
But would my bunnies be safe????

Lx

Mister D said...

My friends in Brid get plagued by seagulls - i think i now have an answer for them

Lisa said...

I'm seriously impressed, I am far too big a wuss to ever do anything like that. Did you braise a few around the camp fire whilst you were away?!
Lisa x

Rosie said...

I remember when I was small watching my granny prepare a chicken so quickly and easily - she must have been doing it for years - out of the garden and into the pot. I expect you just have to get over that initial first step and you have done it. I'm sure HFW would be very impressed:)

pastcaring said...

Well done! I have never done any kind of butchery (seems a little drastic as a way to describe it but can't think of another word!) but if you eat meat, as I do, I guess there is no point being squeamish!
I don't even think I have ever had pigeon, not sure if I would like that gamey taste, but I would definitely try it. xx

topchelseagirl said...

Eeuuw - I'm a veggie though.

Sandra Bailey said...

You'll be making your own sausages next LOL!
Perhaps neighbour could bag a brace of pheasants too, a rabbit and buy some rustic sausages...then make a classic Cassoulet, although this is best in cooler weather me thinks. And yes, I have skinned a rabbit and done freah pigeon. I quite like game, have a cracking recipe for venison steak invoving alcohol and flambe-ay-ing it!

Catherine said...

Wow! I don't know if I'm impressed or feeling rather ill?!! LOL! No..seriously...I am VERY impressed! Pigeon is something I'd love to taste but someone else will have to do the butchery ☺ Cx

Down by the sea said...

Well done for completing the task! I couldn't have done anything like that! Did they sill have their heads on too? Does the mean you might be trying some other animal after your next neighbours party?
Sarah x

The Curious Cat said...

Cool! You learn something new everyday! Yum! But did you have to gut them? xxx

Carol said...

DH keeps suggesting we should have our visiting wood pigeons for lunch, well he reasons we have fattened them up for the pot! (no, it won't happen, not as brave as you)
Carol xx