Sunday, April 27, 2014

Local treasures - Pigeon pot

There's a story behind this dish.  I've been on a hunt to find great local shops where I can find tasty produce for my food.  I've already mentioned the Cambridge Cheese Company in a previous post and this time I've got a new shop to tell you about.  It's called the Cambridge Farmer's Outlet and it's located on the corner of Lensfield Road.  As its name suggests, it sells produce from local farms in Cambridge, from fruit and veg to meat, eggs and cheese.

The Cambridge Farmers' Outlet shop front
As well as buying some eggs, cheese and mushrooms I also decided to give myself a challenge and cook something a little different for dinner for dinner.  In a chiller at the back of the shop I found a few shelves full of some more unusual meats including pheasant and duck, however I went for the pack of four pigeon breasts.

Four breasts was plenty of meat for two people.  I have to admit that I used microwave mash as I only have one hob and I didn't have a lot of time to cook this meal.  I fried some sliced mushrooms and an onion in a pan along with a couple of diced carrots.  When they were done I transferred the veg to a saucepan and added a tin of red kidney beans (which I had drained and rinsed) as well as half a can of tomatoes.  I heated everything over a medium heat until it was simmering and then added the pigeon breasts.  I then simmered everything for 15 minutes until I thought the breasts were fully cooked.  This was a little too long and the pigeon was a little overdone, however, as I had never cooked it before I wanted to err on the side of caution.

Pigeon is an interesting meat and I would definitely try it again, however, I imagine it would work better being roasted or seared and then finished off in an oven.  I would definitely recommend experimenting with new ingredients, especially if you have access to such a good source of local, fresh produce.

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