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Pigeon with Prunes

ingredients

serves 4
4 young pigeons
flour, for dusting
50 g (2 oz) lard or dripping
1 rasher fat bacon
1 onion, skinned and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
225 g (8 oz) tomatoes, chopped
50 g (2 oz) mushrooms, wiped
600 ml (1 pint) beef stock
1 bay leaf
1 bouquet garni
pinch of sugar
225 ml (8 fl oz) red wine
12 prunes
sweet chutney
12 almonds, blanched

method

1. Dust the pigeons in flour. Melt the lard in a pan and brown the birds then remove and place in a deep casserole. Add the bacon and chopped vegetables and mushrooms to the fat remaining in the pan and brown them.

2. Add the stock, herbs and sugar and simmer for 10 minutes. Push through a sieve, adjust the seasoning and add 100ml (4 fl oz) wine. Pour the liquid over the birds and simmer in a closed casserole for 1 1/2 - 2 hours.

3. Meanwhile, simmer the prunes in the rest of the wine until tender. Remove their stones, fill with chutney and one almond.

4. Remove the birds to an open dish and pour over the sauce. Garnish with the stuffed prunes.

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