Wood pigeon, pig head, fennel with egg yolk

Mark Froydenlund

Mark Froydenlund

20th May 2015
Mark Froydenlund

Wood pigeon, pig head, fennel with egg yolk

Wood pigeon, pig head, fennel with egg yolk


  • Wood pigeon:
  • 2 large wood pigeon, head shot
  • 80ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6x Juniper berries
  • 2x Bay leaf
  • Brine:
  • 2 lt water
  • 140g salt
  • 4g pink salt
  • 4g white peppercorns
  • 4g coriander seeds
  • 4g fennel seeds
  • 5g thyme
  • 2x Bay leaf
  • Egg yolk puree:
  • 6x free range, Old Cotswold hen eggs
  • Hazelnut and fennel granola:
  • 500g Hazelnuts
  • 1 tsp Fennel seed
  • 50g Butter
  • 80g Honey
  • 50g Golden Syrup
  • 100g Demerara Sugar
  • Fennel yoghurt:
  • 225ml thick organic yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp fennel seed
  • Fennel pollen
  • Salt
  • Braised pig head:
  • 4x Suckling pig heads, whole
  • 2 banana shallot, brunoise
  • Parsley, finely sliced
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Smoked paprika
  • Cure salt:
  • 200g Rock Salt
  • 200g Caster Sugar
  • 20g Coriander seeds
  • 20g Fennel Seeds
  • 3x Star anise
  • 50g Thyme
  • 50g Picked Rosemary


Wood pigeon:

Toast and lightly crush the spices

Bring all of the ingredients to the boil.

Chill before use.

Clean the birds and remove the breasts.

Remove all skin and membrane from the breasts, trim to shape.

Submerge in the brine for one hour.

After curing, wash the breasts well in cold water to remove all the brine. Pat dry with a clean cloth.

Vac pak with extra virgin olive oil, bay, juniper and thyme.

Poach in a water bath at 58°c for 8-10 minutes.

Egg yolk puree:

Cook the eggs in water bath @ 65°c for 40 minutes

Chill in ice

Separate the yolk, discard the white.

Carefully remove the membrane from around the yolk by rinsing.

Dry well and beat until smooth and glossy.

Hazelnut and fennel granola:

Very lightly roast the nuts and fennel seeds

Bring the butter, honey, syrup, sugar to the boil, ensuring that the sugar is completely dissolved.

Pour the liquid over the nut mix and mix thoroughly.

Separate into trays and roast in the oven (mixing every 2 minutes) until light golden brown.

Fennel yoghurt:

Toast and grind the fennel seed.

Add to the yoghurt together with the fennel pollen, season to taste.

The yoghurt should be thick with fennel seed.

Braised pig head:

Begin by using a blow torch to remove all hair from the pig head.

Combine all the cure salt ingredients in a Thermo mix , blitz to a fine salt.

Rub the salt mix into the pig heads, leave to cure for 4 hrs in the fridge.

After curing, wash the heads well in cold water to remove all the salt. Pat dry with a clean cloth.

Vac pak the pigs head, steam at 80°c for 6 hrs.

Once cooked, drain liquid from the bags and reserve.

Remove all the skin, meat and brain from the skull, leaving the pieces as intact as possible.

The skin and ears can now be thinly sliced, tongue diced and the meat and fat broken roughly. The aim is to get a good balance of fat to meat.

Reduce the liquor from the bag by ¾.

Add this to the meat.

Season with the shallot, pepper, salt, paprika and parsley.

Cling film a flat try, and evenly set the mixture 2 cm thick, chill.

One chilled cut to desired shape and coat in panko bread crumbs.

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