Pigging out on Pig(eon) Bol

As the main season for woodpigeon shooting approaches, one problem arises: how to make room in the freezer? I had a few successful days last year, and many pigeon breasts remain to be eaten.

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Ultimate pheasant burger

Makes 4 Burgers 6 pheasant breasts, coarsely minced in a food processor 400g plain sausage meat 1 red onion, finely chopped 1tbs fennel seeds 1tbs cumin seeds 1tbs coriander seeds 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 4tbs Worcestershire sauce 1tbsp sugar 1tsp smoked paprika 1tbs korma curry powder 1tsp chilli flakes 1 handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped Roughly grind the seeds together in a pestle and mortar. Sauté the onion and seeds in a little olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper on a medium heat until well softened. Add the garlic, then 30 seconds later add the Worcestershire sauce, sugar, smoked paprika, curry powder and chilli flakes. Cook for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool. Thoroughly mix all the ingredients together, along with another generous pinch of salt and pepper. Form into four large patties and cook on a medium heat for about five minutes each side until cooked through. Form into four large patties and cook on a medium heat for about five minutes each side until cooked through.

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Rabbit lasagne

Serves: 4Ingredients4 wild rabbit offal removed and jointed upDuck or Goose fat to cover8 sprigs rosemary4 bulbs garlic cut in half across the equator (skin on)4 leek cut down through middle then sliced into half moonsFresh lasagne sheets (buy more than you think you need, you can freeze what you don’t use!)100 g Butter (for the sauce)3 tbsp plain flour (for the sauce)1/2 pint full fat milk (for the sauce)1 bay leaf (for the sauce)1 onion (for the sauce)5 cloves (for the sauce)200 g parmasan cheese use 24 month aged parmesan as it has the best flavour. (for the sauce)Salt (for the sauce)pepper (for the sauce)InstructionsPut the rabbit joints into a large dish and cover with the fat. Push in the rosemary and cover with grease-proof paper so it touches the fat. Put on a tight fitting lid and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours until meltingly tender.At the same time, put the garlic bulbs into aluminium foil parcels, drizzle with a little olive oil and scrunch them up so they are sealed. Cook for 1 hour in the oven.Gently sauté the leeks in butter until they are soft but not coloured. Cool.Make the béchamel sauce by heating the milk with a bay leaf and the onion skinned and studded with the cloves. Add a few whole black peppercorns. Melt the butter and stir in the flour, then cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat, stirring to prevent burning. Slowly add the milk through a sieve and stirring to combine. When all the milk has been added check the consistency. It should be runny enough to pour but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If too thick, add more milk until correct. Grate half the parmesan into the sauce. Cool with greaseproof touching the top to prevent a skin forming.When rabbit has cooled slightly, pick all the meat off the bones and discard the bones. Tear the meat into bite-sized pieces and mix through the two thirds of the sauce with the leeks. Squeeze the flesh from the garlic bulbs into a bowl and squash slightly before adding to the sauce as well. Season well.In your lasagne dish, start layering the meat with the pasta sheets, starting with the meat and finishing with a layer of pasta. Spread the remaining white sauce over the top and grate the remaining parmesan over the top.When ready to cook, put in pre-heated oven at 180c for 20 mins or until bubbling and golden. Serve with fresh salad leaves. Yum.

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