After enjoying pigeon with cherries at Povero Diavolo, I thought it would be nice to create my own version of it. I made a sauce of pureed cherries and reduced pigeon stock. For some more cherry flavor I deglazed the pan with Kirsch after browning the meat, but still the sauce didn’t have a very distinct cherry flavor. However, it was delicious, had great depth of flavor, and worked very well with the pigeon (which I had cooked sous-vide). Just like strawberry jam does not taste like fresh strawberries, a cooked cherry sauce doesn’t taste like fresh cherries. Still, it was so good that I will definitely make this again. I bet this will also be excellent made with blackberries (but then the sauce would need to be sieved to remove the seeds).
2 pigeons, separated into breasts, legs, and carcasses
500 grams (1.1 lbs) cherries
2 Tbsp clarified butter
60 ml (1/4 cup) Kirsch
aromatic vegetables and herbs for the stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Season the pigeon legs with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Vacuum seal them and cook them sous-vide for 12 hours at 60ºC/140ºF. Lower the temperature to 55ºC/131ºF and add the pigeon breasts, also seasoned and vacuum sealed. Cook them for 2 hours.
Make a stock using the carcasses, aromatic vegetables, and herbs.
This calls for a full-bodied wine that can handle the cherry sauce, such as an Amarone. The cherry sauce was a bit too sweet for the Amarone that we had with it, so be careful with the sugar when you prepare this!
Ossobuco sounds like a winter dish, but the traditional gremolata topping of fresh herbs, lemon zest, and garlic, freshens it up just enough to make it perfect for a cool summer’s day. Cooking it sous-vide ensures the meat will be both tender and juicy and won’t heat up your house as much, but you can also braise it traditionally in the oven.