Pigeon Pate

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This recipe originated because a one of my neighbours who was a bit stressed, decided to take up shooting, and was determined to single handedly eliminate the entire wood pigeon population of South Yorkshire. He was generous to the extreme - Knock, Knock on the front door - Hi there, here's some more pigeons for you ( Oh no, not another 30 pigeons!!). Having said that the recipe is damn good!Makes 2 bread tins.


  • 20 pigeon breasts
  • 250 gms chicken livers
  • 500gms good butchers sausages skinned
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 large cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons red currant jelly
  • 1 large glass of port
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
  • 2 juniper berries crushed
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • 24 rashers streaky bacon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Saute the onion and garlic gently for about 5 minutes until soft, golden and translucent. Put aside.
  2. Chop the pigeon breasts and chicken livers
  3. Quickly brown the pigeon and liver in batches and put aside in a bowl
  4. Deglaze the pan with the port and add to the meat
  5. Put the meat and port, sausage meat, mace, eggs, onions and garlic, thyme, , juniper, red currant jelly into a food processor.
  6. Blend to a smooth, but slightly grainy texture. You may have to do this is several batches.
  7. Remove from food processor into a bowl and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Test seasoning by frying a teaspoon of the mixture for a few minutes and taste.
  9. Adjust seasoning as required.
  10. Using a heavy knife flatten and stretch the rashers of bacon.
  11. Line the bread tins with the bacon, with the bacon overlapping the sides so that it can be folded over to cover the top of the pate.
  12. Fill the tins with the mixture and fold over the bacon
  13. Cover the tins with double thickness of foil and tie the foil in place.
  14. Place tins in a roasting tin and fill half full with hot water.
  15. Cook at 180C or gas mark 4 for 1 hour 20 minutes.
  16. Remove and check - the pate should have shrunk away from the sides.
  17. Leave to cool with the foil in place and with a heavy weight on each tin to compress the pate as it cools.
  18. Mature in the refrigerator for 2 days before using.

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