This recipe is a simplified version of a restaurant dish designed for home cooking. At The Black Swan we would normally cook the pigeon in a waterbath at 60°c, we garnish with forced chard leaves (grown in the dark in our garden) and we would also make a rich pigeon sauce to accompany.

  • Hard


  • 2 Wood pigeon breasts
  • 4 Large beetroot
  • 4 Baby beetroot (mixed colours)
  • Beetroot juice (ideally freshly juiced, but you can buy bottled)
  • Chard leaves (to garnish)
  • Fine salt
  • Sugar
  • White wine vinegar
  • White wine
  • For the granola:
  • 100g Oats
  • 50g Pumpkin seeds
  • 50g Sunflower seeds
  • 60g Golden syrup
  • 60g Honey


1. Toast the oats, pumpkins seeds and sunflower seeds in a 180°c oven
2. Heat the honey and golden syrup (but do not boil)
3. Add the syrup mixture to the toasted oats and seeds making sure that they are well coated
4. Place on a non-stick tray in a 160°c oven
5. Turn/mix the mixture every 2-4 minutes until it is evenly browned before removing from the oven
6. Place in a bowl and stir the mixture until it has cooled to avoid clumps

Beetroot puree:
1. Wash the large beetroot, then sprinkle fine salt onto the skin whilst it is still wet so that it sticks
2. Wrap in tin foil and bake at 200°c for 1 hour
3. Cut the beetroot in half and scoop out the soft flesh from inside
4. In a blender combine the flesh together with beetroot juice until a smooth silky consistency is achieved
Pickled beetroot:
1. Mix the sugar, white wine vinegar and white wine in equal parts to make your pickling liquor
2. Thinly slice the baby beetroot add to the liquor and bring to the boil just before serving
Fry in a pan with foaming butter for 2 minutes on each side

About The Author

The Black Swan at Oldstead, a Michelin Star, and 3 AA Rosette, pub and restaurant with rooms, 20 miles north of York. Michelin says of chef/co-owner, Tommy Banks, who is believed to be Britain's youngest Michelin Star Chef, 'cooking is modern and highly skilled but satisfyingly unpretentious" .

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