Recipes by Mike Robinson: Warm Salad of Pigeon, Bacon & Black Pudding
The salad is the signature starter at the Pot Kiln. We estimate that we have sold over 20,000 pigeon breasts since we opened in 2005! You can make the dressings in advance and keep for other uses, so this is actually a lot simpler than it sounds to make.
Make the French Dressing by mixing 2 parts Extra virgin olive oil to 1 part white wine vinegar. Add 1 tsp of mustard and 1 Tsp of honey, with a little salt & pepper to season. Whisk together and set aside. Slice the bacon into lardons and cook until crispy in pan with no added oil. Drain on Kitchen paper.
Cut the black pudding in bite-size chunks and heat through in a pan with a little olive oil until faintly crispy on the outside but still soft throughout. Rub pigeon breasts with olive oil and salt and pepper just before cooking. Sear and really hot pan for 1 ½ mins on each side. In the last 30 seconds, splash a little Jerez vinegar over the pigeon and allow to reduce. Set aside to rest for 3-4 mins. This will allow the juices to redistribute themselves giving an even pink throughout.
Lightly dress your salad leaves with the French dressing and pile in the centre of each plate. Sprinkle the bacon and black pudding around the leaves. Carve the pigeon breast on an angle into 3-4 slices and arrange on top of the leaves. Drizzle the Balsamic Vinegar around the edge of the leaves with another drizzle of French Dressing. Sprinkle some Maldon salt and a grinding of pepper and serve immediately.