Pigeon and foie gras Wellington with ceps and black truffle sauce

Luxury meets luxury in this incredible dish from Greg Anderson during his tenure as head chef at Morston Hall. Pigeon breasts sandwich a thick slice of foie gras, before being encased in spinach, a cep mushroom duxelle and pastry to create the most decadent Wellington we've ever seen. Served with salsify puree, more ceps and an intense cep, pigeon and truffle sauce, it's an example of classical cooking at the highest level.

First published in 2021




Puff pastry

  • 500g of plain flour
  • 12g of salt
  • 25g of white wine vinegar
  • 200g of water
  • 50g of unsalted butter, melted
  • 400g of butter, (Greg uses something called dry butter; a special butter for laminating containing at least 85% fat), chilled and bashed with a rolling pin into a flat square

Truffle Sauce

Mushroom Duxelle

  • 300g of ceps, finely chopped
  • 100g of butter
  • 50g of shallots, finely chopped
  • 15g of garlic, finely chopped
  • 75g of double cream
  • 100g of Madeira
  • 10g of sherry vinegar
  • 10g of tarragon, chopped

Pigeon wellington

  • 4 pigeons, breast removed and reserved along with the carcasses
  • 4 slices of foie gras, thick
  • 32 spinach leaves, large, blanched and refreshed in iced water
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt

Salsify puree

Pan-fried ceps

To plate


  • Food processor or blender
  • Lattice cutter


First begin the puff pastry as it requires hours of resting. Make a well in the middle of the flour and pour in the salt, vinegar, water and melted 50g of butter. Bring together as a dough but do not overwork
  • 500g of plain flour
  • 12g of salt
  • 25g of white wine vinegar
  • 200 water
  • 50g of butter, melted
Roll the pastry dough out into a square about two-thirds bigger than the square of butter, then turn it 45° so it is a diamond shape as you look at it. Place the cold butter in the middle of the pastry and fold the points of the diamond back over it, like an envelope around the butter
  • 400g of butter, (Chef uses Dry butter; A special butter for laminating containing at least 85% Fat) cold and bashed with a rolling pin into a flat square
Roll out into a rectangle, then fold the left-hand third over into the middle. Fold the remaining right-hand third back over the middle. This is called a book fold. Turn the dough 90° and repeat the process. Chill the dough for one hour
Repeat the folding process 2 more times, (including the 1 hour rests) in total giving you 6 turns. After the final 1 hour rest, roll the puff pastry out thinly and leave to rest in the fridge, covered
Throughout the folding and resting process for the pastry, you can make some of the other elements. Start with the sauce. Place the dried ceps in boiling water and leave to soak for at least 2 hours
Heat up a large dash of oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and chop up the reserved pigeon carcasses. Add them to the pan and caramelise until a deep golden colour. Remove the carcasses, then add the shallots, chestnut mushrooms, garlic and thyme and caramelise. Once golden, deglaze the pan with the Madeira. Cook until the madeira has completely reduced to a very thick syrup
Drain the ceps and add to the pan. Pass the cep liquid through a fine sieve to remove any grit, then add this to the pan as well. Add the carcasses back in and cover with the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, skim the stock and leave to simmer for two hours, continuously skimming as needed
  • 5l dark chicken stock
After two hours, pass the stock through a fine sieve then return to the pan and reduce to a thick and glossy sauce. If it's ready before the other elements are, you can keep it warm or reheat before serving. Only add the chopped black truffle at the end when reheating the sauce to serve
To make the mushroom duxelle, melt the butter in a pan. Add the chopped shallots and soften, then add the garlic and ceps and cook until the liquid has evaporated from the mushrooms. Add the Madeira and reduce until dry, then the sherry vinegar and reduce until dry and finally the double cream and reduce until dry once more. Finish with the tarragon then leave to cool completely
  • 300g of ceps, finely chopped
  • 100g of butter
  • 50g of shallots, finely chopped
  • 15g of garlic, finely chopped
  • 75g of double cream
  • 100g of Madeira
  • 10g of sherry vinegar
  • 10g of tarragon, chopped
To make the salsify puree, melt the butter in a pan then add the salsify. Season with salt and leave to soften. Add the milk and bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes until very soft. Drain, reserving the liquid, then transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth, adding the cooking liquid back in to create a smooth consistency. Taste and season with salt and lemon juice
  • 300g of salsify root, peeled and sliced (reserved in lemon juice to prevent discolouration)
  • 50g of butter
  • 300g of whole milk
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • salt
Once the pastry has had its final rest, make the Wellingtons. Place one foie gras slice between two seasoned pigeon breasts. Repeat with the remaining foie gras and breasts
Divide the pastry into 4 and trim if needed. Spread each piece with a thin layer of the mushroom duxelle, followed by a single layer of the spinach leaves. Make sure you leave the edges of the pastry clean so you can seal up the edges. Place the pigeon in the centre and wrap the pastry around it, then turn upside down so the seams in the pastry are on the bottom. Repeat with the other Wellingtons
If you want to decorate with a lattice, roll out the leftover pastry (you can use the trim too) and use a lattice cutter to create the pattern. Carefully drape the latticed pastry over the top and trim. Reserve in the fridge until ready to cook
When ready to cook, preheat an oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Egg wash the Wellingtons and bake for 6 minutes, then turn the tray around and bake for another 6 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before carving
  • 1 egg, beaten with a pinch of salt
While the Wellingtons bake, gently reheat the sauce and puree. For the pan-fried ceps, cut the mushrooms in half and score the cut side with a diagonal cross hatch. Cook in foaming butter with the garlic and thyme until golden and cooked through
To serve, place half a Wellington each on warmed plates with a spoonful of salsify puree. Arrange the cooked and raw ceps on top of the puree and garnish with nasturtiums and micro cress. Finish with a generous amount of the truffle sauce
First published in 2021

Greg is a seriously accomplished chef who after six years at Galton Blackiston's Morston Hall set out on his own with his partner Rebecca Williams to open Meadowsweet in Holt, Norfolk in 2021.

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