Tuesday November 24, 2020

Chef's Table: Game for a wild option

Alan O’Reilly from Wildeside presents three dishes from a special game-themed menu

25th September, 2016

This week, Alan O’Reilly from Wildeside in Cabinteely, Co Dublin (wildesidecafe.ie) presents three dishes that will feature on a special game-themed menu that will be available every night from October 5 until November 30 for €50 per person, including matched wines

Partridge and wood pigeon with foie gras

Partridge and wood pigeon with foie gras

Ingredients, serves four

2 oven-ready partridge crowns

2 pigeon crowns

4 quail eggs

4 slices of brioche

4 large savoy cabbage leaves

50g pork caul (ask your butcher to source this for you)

50g girolle mushrooms

50g smoked bacon

10g chopped chives

50g lean chicken thigh meat

20ml double cream

500ml brown chicken stock

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

100g vegetable mirepoix (diced carrot, onion, leek, celery)

1 clove of garlic

2 sprigs of thyme

Half a dried bay leaf

50g butter

Salt and pepper to taste

12g foie gras


1. Remove the fillets from the pigeon crowns, or ask your butcher to do it for you. Season and leave to one side.

2. Sauté the remaining bones with the mirepoix, garlic, thyme and bay leaf until browned. Remove any fat.

3. Sauté the mushrooms, then de-glaze the pan with the sherry vinegar. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil and simmer.

4. Seal the pigeon breasts by cooking in a hot pan for 30 seconds on each side.

5. Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling, salted water for 50 seconds. Transfer straight to iced water, pat dry with a towel, and remove excess moisture using a rolling pin.

6. Blend the double cream, chicken thigh meat, chives, salt and pepper to make a chicken mousse.

7. Divide the mousse between the four cabbage leaves, place the pigeon fillets on top and add the remaining mousse. Completely encase the pigeon in the cabbage leaf, then wrap each one in pork caul. Wrap each one tightly in clingfilm and leave to one side.

8. With a round cutter, cut four circles out of the brioche slices. With a smaller cutter, cut four smaller circles out of the centre of the first circles. Butter and leave to one side.

9. Poach the pigeon breasts for 12 minutes in a separate pan, then leave to cool slightly.

10. Brown the partridge crowns in melted butter on all sides. Roast in a hot oven at 190C for eight minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes, loosely covered.

11. On a hot, non-stick pan, brown one side of each brioche toast. Turn over, break in a quail egg and allow to cook. On the same pan, brown the pigeon.

12. Carve one partridge breast per plate. Strain the sauce and then glaze the legs in sauce for a couple of minutes. Serve with a slice of pigeon breast, quail egg toast and a seared slice of foie gras, adding the remaining sauce to the plate.

Roast loin of fallow deer

Roast lion of fallow deer

Ingredients, serves four

600g of trimmed fallow deer loin, cut into four portions

100g vegetable mirepoix (diced carrot, onion, leek, celery)

1 clove of garlic

3 sprigs of thyme

1 crushed juniper berry

3 white peppercorns

Half a cardamom pod

2 strips of orange zest

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

150ml red wine

300ml veal stock

12 young, organic carrots

1 tbsp agave syrup

50g butter

20ml chicken stock

12 pearl onions

100g organic carrot

Knob of butter

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Ensure the deer loins are at room temperature, then season and brown on a hot pan. Cook in a pre-heated oven at 180C for eight minutes – this will give you medium-rare meat. Remove the deer from the pan and allow to relax, loosely covered, for 15-20 minutes.

2. Brown the mirepoix with the garlic, two sprigs of thyme, juniper berries, white peppercorns, cardamom pod and orange zest. Add the sherry vinegar until completely evaporated, then add the red wine and reduce until syrupy.

3. Add the veal stock, bring to the boil, skim and cook for 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve, put back in the pot and reduce to a syrup consistency.

4. In a separate pot, add the butter, a tablespoon of water, salt, pepper and agave syrup. Add the pearl onions, and cook until glazed.

5. Roast carrots with the remaining sprig of thyme, salt, pepper and the butter for 10 minutes at 200C.

6. To serve the dish, divide the carrot purée between four hot plates. Carve the deer and garnish with glazed baby onions and roasted carrots. Finish with the red wine sauce.

Chocolate tart with dark chocolate mousse and caramel ice cream

Chocolate tart with dark mousse and caramel ice cream

Ingredients, serves 12-16

For the chocolate tart base

100g cornflour

25g polenta

75g melted butter

25g cocoa

75g sugar

For the chocolate tart filling

150ml milk

250ml cream

200g 70 per cent dark chocolate

2 eggs

For the chocolate tart glaze

8ml milk

15g cocoa powder

45g sugar

60g cream

15g 70 per cent dark chocolate

1 leaf of gelatine

For the dark chocolate mousse

250g of 50 per cent chocolate

3 eggs

300ml semi-whipped cream

For the ice cream

500ml semi-whipped cream

100ml egg yolk

75g sugar

200g salted caramel


1. To make the base for the chocolate tart, mix all the ingredients together and press thinly and evenly into a 30cmx10cm tart tin. Bake at 150C for 10-12 minutes.

2. To make the filling, boil the milk and cream and pour the boiled mixture over the chocolate to melt it. Mix thoroughly.

3. Lightly beat the eggs and gradually mix into chocolate, milk and cream. Pour over the base and bake for 40 minutes at 100C until set. Allow to cool.

4. To glaze the tart, soak the gelatine in cold water and drain. Bring the milk and cream to the boil, and add the cocoa, sugar and chocolate for one minute, allowing the chocolate to melt.

5. Add gelatine and sieve. Once cooled, pour the glaze thinly onto the tart.

6. To make the mousse, first melt the chocolate over boiling water. Separately, whisk the eggs over boiling water until the get to a temperature of about 75C.

7. Remove the egg mixture from heat, then whisk until cool. Fold in the chocolate and gradually fold in the whipped cream. Place in glass dishes/serving dishes, and allow to cool in the fridge for at least half an hour.

8. To make the ice cream, whisk the egg yolks and sugar over boiling water until thick. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.

9. Fold in the caramel sauce, followed by the whipped cream. Freeze a day in advance of when you plan to use it.

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