Pigeon, coffee-cured foie gras, Isle of Wight cherries and spiced bread

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This pigeon recipe from Luke Holder is a rich and sumptuous dish, best served to those who aren't shy about intense flavour. Malic acid is an organic compound, found in fruit and vegetables (the highest source being apples) and can be purchased from any specialist ingredients store. You'll need to start prepping this inspirational recipe the day before serving.

First published in 2015





Fois gras

Sour cherry purée

To plate


  • Fine sieve
  • Blow torch
  • Steamer
  • Sous vide or water bath
  • Muslin cloth
  • Liquidiser
  • Vac pac maker


To cure the foie gras, pierce the foie gras with a knife along the veins then soak for 4 hours in the water and milk, along with lots of ice cubes to remove any blood
  • 500g of foie gras
  • 500ml of water
  • 1000ml of milk
After 4 hours drain and pat dry. Put on a tray. Mix the rock salt and coffee and cover the foie gras with the mixture, pushing some underneath as well. Cure for 8 hours
When ready, remove the foie from the salt and coffee mix, wash off any excess and place in a vacuum pack bag with the chilled espresso for a further 8 hours. Once cured, steam for 7 minutes in a steamer and allow to cool at room temperature
To make the sour cherry purée, bring the sour cherries and the stock syrup to the boil. Pit the fresh cherries and place the pips in a piece of muslin, then smash to break up and tie to secure
Remove the sour cherries from the heat and add the fresh cherries with the bag of pips. Place the mixture in a vac pac bag and vacuum close - leave overnight just to marinade. When ready, remove the pips, blend and pass through a sieve. Season if necessary
To prepare the pigeon, burn any remaining feathers from the breasts of the pigeons with a blowtorch. Remove the breasts from the pigeons with a sharp knife
Vacuum pack each with a little olive oil, slice of lardo and thyme. Cook sous vide at 53°C for 12 minutes. When ready, seal the skin side in a hot pan with a little oil
Toast the spiced bread
  • 4 slices of spiced bread
To plate pour a tablespoon of cherry purée onto the plate. Slice the coffee-cured foie gras
Place the pigeon on the purée and the coffee-cured foie gras on the toasted spiced bread. Arrange the poached cherries around and decorate with Greek basil
First published in 2015

Luke Holder comes by his taste for ultra-authentic local cuisine honestly: he's spent large chunks of his career soaking up regional techniques in far-flung parts of the world.

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