Even in the current rush to snap up cheaper cuts pigeon is good value. We bought two recently for £3.50 which have been sitting in the freezer for a few weeks so my other half decided to tackle them this weekend.
He cooks like a typical bloke i.e. without the slightest concern for frugality. If I’m writing a a recipe I worry endlessly about the number of ingredients, in case readers don’t have them and feel they need to go out and buy them. He just plunders the storecupboard and drinks cupboard so this dish (basically pot roast pigeon in red wine) contained bacon, onions, mushrooms, rosemary, oregano, thyme, pimenton, chilli, cumin, mixed spice, red wine, brandy and grated dark chocolate. A sort of mole in other words and very, very good it was too.
Although a pigeon seems like a small boney bird, the richness of the meat makes it go quite a long way particularly if you pad it out with extra ingredients. Stretching strategies might include:
* A rich winey sauce which obviously need not be quite as complicated as my beloved’s
* Some extra meat in the form of bacon or chorizo
* Some forcemeat balls or stuffing
* Bread sauce (though my husband, who hates it, wouldn’t agree)
* Roast root veggies or a root vegetable purée like a parsnip purée or celeriac and potato mash. (We had roast carrots as I’m trying to cut down on carbs post-Argentina)
* Sloppy polenta (very good with dark winey sauces)
* A baked potato
You could even cook it as he did then take all the meat off the bone and turn it into a luscious dark meaty pasta sauce along the lines of pappardelle alle lepre (pasta with hare sauce) only in this case it would be pappardelle alle piccione). Or into a Pigeon Pie. I just recommend cooking it well as it’s much easier to remove what meat there is off the bone.
Do you cook pigeon or other game? If so how cheaply do you get it and what do you like to do with it?