Juniper spiced roast pigeon with cherries, black pudding & hazelnuts

by Luke Mackay

A sophisticated starter that makes the most of a classic flavour combination

Classic flavour combinations here, and lovely textures. Pigeon is always best cooked on the bone and rare. You could just use pigeon breasts if you wanted.


1 tbsp honey
2 tsp ground juniper
500ml game or chicken stock
200g cherries, pitted and halved
4 pigeons
½ tsp ground cinnamon
A knob of butter
1 sprig of thyme
150g black pudding
100g toasted hazelnuts


Preheat the oven to 200C. Add the honey and 1 tsp juniper to the stock and reduce until only about 100ml is left. Add the cherries and warm through for 2 mins. Set aside.

Season the pigeon with the remaining juniper, cinnamon and ½ tsp ground black pepper. Roast the pigeons in a heavy cast iron pan on the hob with a knob of butter and a sprig of thyme, turning regularly, for 5 mins. Add to the preheated oven for a further 7 mins. Leave to rest.

In the same pan, crumble and fry the black pudding. Set aside. Serve the pigeon with the cherry sauce and dress with the black pudding and toasted hazelnuts.

Recipe: Luke Mackay