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Wood Pigeons in Beer

ingredients

serves 4
4 small wood pigeons
30 ml (2 tbsp) vegetable oil
25 g (1 oz) butter
450 g (1 lb) onions, skinned and sliced
45 ml (3 tbsp) plain flour
20 ml (4 tsp) french mustard
600 ml (1 pint) light ale
20 ml (4 tsp) soft brown, sugar
30 ml (2 tbsp) vinegar
142 ml (5 fl oz) carton soured cream
200 g (7 oz) can of pimientos, drained and thinly sliced

method

1. Cut the backbone from each pigeon, leaving the rest of the bird whole. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the butter and when frothing brown the birds lightly on all sides. Remove the birds.

2. Fry the onions until golden. Stir in the flour, mustard, ale, sugar, vinegar, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, stirring.

3. Return the birds to the casserole. Cover tightly and cook in the oven at 170°C (325°F) mark 3 for about 2} hours, or until tender. Serve the pigeon on a heated dish. Reheat the juices with the soured cream and pimientos. Spoon over the pigeons.

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