Recipe: Smoked pigeon and pea risotto

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pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

The Game for Anything crew are making best use of their pest control efforts with this tasty smoked pigeon and pea risotto recipe

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Recipe courtesy of the game for anything kitchen

Smoked pigeon and pea risotto | Serves 4

Ingredients

* 6 pigeon breasts with the skin on

* Butter for cooking

* Hickory wood dust for the smoker

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pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Brine

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* 15g demerara sugar

* 35g table salt

* 10 peppercorns

* 2 dried bay leaves

* 5 juniper berries

* 500ml cold water

* ½ tsp garlic powder

* 50ml port

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Risotto

* 200ml water

* 1 chicken stock cube

* 1 vegetable stock cube

* 250ml white wine

* 2 cloves garlic, crushed

* 2 shallots, finely chopped

* Olive oil & butter for frying

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

* 1l game bird stock

* 320g risotto rice

* 50g grated parmesan, plus a little extra for serving

* 100g spinach

* 200g frozen peas

* 1tbsp cream cheese

* Pea shoots to serve

Game stock tip: This is our recipe!

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Method

Brining and smoking the pigeon

1. To make the brine, place all the ingredients into a large saucepan, heat it up and stir until the sugar and salt is dissolved

2. Allow to cool completely

3. Place the pigeon breasts in the cool brine mix for two hours

4. After two hours, remove from the brine and pat dry with kitchen roll

5. Place the hickory wood dust into the cold smoke generator (these can be purchased online)

6. Place the smoke generator in your smoker. This can be anything from a BBQ to a cardboard box - mine is our old wellie cupboard!

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

7. Once you have a good amount of smoke formed, place the breasts into the smoke and smoke for 1-2 hours, dependant on personal taste.

Risotto

1. Place the water, 200ml of the wine and the stock cubes into a saucepan. Bring to the boil and reduce by half

2. Place the olive oil and butter with the chopped shallots and a splash of cold water into a frying pan and gently heat with a lid on

3. Cook the shallots until softened but not browned. Top tip: don’t rush the cooking of the shallots. This can take about 20 minutes and will help bring out the sweetness

4. Add the crushed garlic to the shallots and fry for 3 minutes

5. Then, add the risotto rice and coat with the oil

6. Add 250ml of the game bird stock and keep stirring

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pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

7. Cooking a risotto is a labour of love, and you should keep stirring, as it will bring out the starch, which will make a nice thick and creamy risotto

8. Once the rice has absorbed the stock, pour in a further 250ml of the game bird stock, once again, stirring until absorbed. Next, add another 250ml of the game bird stock, the stock and wine reduction and 50ml of wine, and keep stirring

9. At the same time, add the final 250ml of game bird stock, the peas and the spinach to a food processor and pulse until you have a smooth mixture

10. Pour the pea and spinach mixture, the cream cheese and the grated parmesan into the risotto, stirring it all in thoroughly

11. Keep cooking until the rice is cooked

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Cooking the pigeon

1. When the pigeon has been smoked, heat up an oven-proof frying pan, add a knob of butter and place the breasts in skin side down. Cook for 2 minutes

2. After 2 minutes, turn the breasts over and cook for a further 2 minutes. Then, place them in the oven for 5 minutes

3. Remove the breasts from the oven and allow them to rest on a chopping board for 2 minutes before slicing to serve

4. Slice the pigeon and serve on top of the risotto. Finish with some pea shoots and some grated parmesan

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything

Game for Anything
pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff

Game for Anything pigeon risotto and venison stroganoff - Credit: Game for Anything