18 November 2010

Squab with madeira sauce

In my ongoing attempts to eat as many critters as I can, I present to you:  squab.

Whole squab

Squab is also commonly called pigeon. Or "rats with wings". The pigeons that are sold as squab are generally "utility pigeons", bred to grow quickly, and harvested fairly young.  So where does one buy "rats with wings"?  I got mine through special order at Iowa Meat Farms.  $15 each.  And these things are tiny.  A bit less than a pound each, I got two for Mrs. Dude, Bbq Jr., and myself.  Two tiny breasts each for Mrs. Dude and I, and all the tiny drumsticks that a little guy could want.  So this isn't something we're going to be buying ten of for a party.

The following recipe is really nice, because it requires about 10 minutes of prep time to dismember the squabs, followed by about 10 minutes of cooking.  Take that, Rachel Ray.  This is fast cuisine.  Straight from Meat: A Kitchen Education.

Start with:
2 squabs
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
½ cup madeira
¼ cup sherry vinegar
2 tbsp veal glaze
4 tbsp cold butter
Remove the organs from the cavity (if your squab comes with organs).

Squab liver

Chop the liver finely, and chop into it the 4 tbsp of cold butter.  Smush that butter-liver mix through a fine sieve.

Squab liver - with butter

Keep the butter mix cold.

Now.  Dismember the squab.  The instructions in Meat: A Kitchen Education are awesome, with very detailed pictures.  So go out and buy that book.  Really.  I'll wait.


Okay, so you're back.  I'll assume that you sliced off the drumstick/thigh portion by cutting through the skin around the leg, and then the joint attaching it to the bird.  Then you sliced off the breasts by cutting through the length of the breastbone, and down the length of the breast (just like you would a turkey).  Seriously, my description is deeply lacking.  Go get yourself a good meat dismemberment book like Meat: A Kitchen Education.  And save the dismembered carcass and hearts for making squab stock.  I've frozen mine tightly in a ziploc bag.


Dismembered squab

Generously salt and pepper the breasts and legs.  Bring to room temperature over about an hour.

Bring the 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to a foamy mess over high heat.  Toss in the breasts and legs.  Gently.  That hot fat splashing on your eye will really hurt.  Seriously.

Saute squab

Two minutes, then flip.

Saute squab

Two more minutes on this side, then place the squab on a piece of paper towel.  Deglaze the delicious charred on bits with the madeira.  Reduce the madeira to thick slurry.  Add the vinegar, reduce again.  Add the veal glaze.  Whisk thoroughly, and adjust the consistency with water to get a nice sauce consistency.

Whisk in the cold butter/liver mixture 1 tablespoon at a time, until you have a nice gravy.  Drizzle over the squab and serve.

Squab - served

I wish I had gotten a picture of the interior of this breast. It had just a hint of pink, cooked medium. (Indeed, squab is safe to eat medium to medium-well).  I also wish I could get a photo of how it tasted.  This was ridiculous.  Like steak.  Only more tender.  Like lamb.  Only more flavourful.  And ten-minute meal?  Hell, yeah.  Dismember the squab in advance, and this is a ten-minute meal.


1 comment:

Roxanna said...

Very interesting recipe. It would be a unique dish to serve with grills. I have some gas barbecues reviews at home to guide me with my newly bought
gas barbecues. Sale in the malls saved me from too much expenses! Thanks for sharing.

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