Gastronomixs

Wood pigeon stuffed morels, wild garlic, and snails

In a previous month we welcomed the Scottish Isaac McHale as guest chef. He is the co-founder and chef at The Clove Club* in London. The restaurant was opened in 2013 and managed to make incredible headway in a relatively short space of time. The restaurant was awarded a Michelin star in its first year and is currently at number 26 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. At the Clove Club the focus is on serving more vegetables, cooking with forgotten British ingredients, and updating classic dishes. An example of this are the haggis doughnuts: sheep’s stomach filled with offal.

Isaac McHale was taught the trade by some of the very best chefs. He completed work placements with Mark Best at Marque in Sydney, René Redzepi at noma** in Copenhagen, and Tom Aikens at Elystan Street* in London. After this, he spent six years working at The Ledbury** in London under chef Brett Graham. In 2016 he opened Luca together with his business partners. Luca is a British restaurant inspired by Italian cuisine.

Picture by PA Jorgensen.

Creation by Isaac McHale, The Clove Club*, London, United Kingdom.

Wood pigeon stuffed morels, wild garlic, and snails

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Ingredients

400

g

spinach

100

g

wild garlic leaves

10

g

olive oil

2 or 3

 

raw wild garlic leaves

250

g

clean out-of-shell snails, cut in half lengthwise

25

g

butter

200

g

dry white wine

17

g

cooked shallot, brunoised

180

g

brown chicken stock

 

 

salt to taste

1

 

peeled sandy carrot

5

g

butter

2

sprigs

thyme

 

 

salt to taste

1075

g

wood pigeon breasts

850

g

pork belly, trimmed and boneless

210

g

duck livers, trimmed

325

g

pork fatback, 0.5 cm dices and cured

215

g

onion, sweated and finely diced

37.5

g

salt

2

g

pink curing salt

1.25

g

thyme leaves

3.75

g

rosemary

3.75

g

ground mace

3.75

g

ground black pepper

4

 

morel mushrooms, medium-sized

 

 

wood pigeon sausage for stuffing

 1

clove

garlic

 1

sprig

thyme

10

g

butter

 

 

salt

750

g

Shipton Mill t45 bread flour

450

g

50°C filtered water

75

g

50°C milk

30

g

fresh yeast

60

g

sugar

15

g

salt

15

g

butter, melted

1

 

loaf pain de mie, frozen

Preparation method: wood pigeon sausage
  • Chill all the parts of the meat mincer.
  • Sweat the onions with the spices and set aside to cool.
  • Combine all the ingredients, except for the cured fatback, and mix well.
  • Push the mixture through the meat grinder, making sure to emulsify while grinding.
  • Combine the mince with the cured fatback. Split into two batches and put into a cold KitchenAid bowl.
  • Using the paddle mixer, mix the sausage mince well until it becomes tacky and emulsified.
  • Cook a piece to check the seasoning and emulsification.
Preparation method: stuffed morels
  • Start by placing the sausage mix into a piping bag.
  • Cut a small piece off the base of the morel mushrooms.
  • Wash the mushrooms in running water until clean. Be quick.
  • Dry the mushrooms by leaving them on a tray in a warm place for a few hours.
  • Pipe the sausage mix into the morel mushrooms.
  • In a pan, foam the butter and add the stuffed mushrooms.
  • Add the garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Cover the pan and turn the heat to low.
  • After one minute, gently stir around the morels, cover, and leave for one more minute until fully cooked.
Preparation method: pain de mie
  • Mix the flour and water for eight minutes in the KitchenAid to form a dough. Rest for 30 minutes.
  • Activate the yeast in warm milk with sugar. Rest for ten minutes.
  • After the rest period, combine all the ingredients in the KitchenAid at medium speed until smooth. This take about four minutes.
  • Form the dough into a ball and put it back into the KitchenAid bowl. Cover with cling film and put in a warm place.
  • After the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and transfer to a 1/3 sized Gastronorm.
  • Let the dough double in size again.
  • Bake the bread at 180°c for 35 minutes with a tray placed on top of the dough to form a dense, square loaf.
  • Remove the baked bread from the tray and let it cool on a rack before freezing.
Preparation method: bread crisp
  • Gently slice the frozen bread on number 2.5 on a meat slicer.
  • Cut out 5-centimetre circles and an inner off-centre 2-centimetre circle.
  • Make as many circles as you require.
  • Lightly brush clarified butter on a baking tray lined with Silpat or parchment.
  • Place the 5-centimetre circles and 2-centimetre circles on the tray. Lightly brush with more butter.
  • Cover the dough with one more Silpat or parchment sheet. Place another tray on top to keep the crisps flat.
  • Bake at 160°C for eight to ten minutes until golden brown and crispy.
  • Remove from the tray and store in an air-tight container.
Preparation method: wild garlic purée
  • Combine the spinach and the wild garlic.
  • Blanch in boiling water seasoned with salt for two minutes.
  • Remove from the water, drain well, and put into a Vitamix.
  • Blend together and add the raw wild garlic and olive oil.
  • Pass the purée through a chinois and cool over ice.
  • Check for consistency and taste. Add salt if needed.
Preparation method: cooked snails
  • Brown the butter in a pan. Add the snails.
  • Fry the snails over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
  • Once the snails have a good colour remove them from the pan. Add the white wine to the pan.
  • Reduce the wine by half. Then add the shallots, snails, and brown chicken stock to the pan.
  • Reduce the liquid by half or until slightly thickened. Add salt if needed.
Preparation method: baked sandy carrot
  • Tightly wrap the carrots, thyme, butter, and salt in aluminium foil. Make sure there are no holes.
  • Bake at 160°C for 20 minutes or until just soft.
  • Remove the carrots from the aluminium foil cut into 1cm slices when cooled. 
Finishing and presentation
  • Spoon the wild garlic purée onto a plate.
  • Arrange the glazed morels on the plate.
  • Spoon the snails on the plate with a generous amount of sauce.
  • Arrange the carrot slices on the plate.
  • Place the bread crisps on top.

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