Christmas Recipes: The Groes Inn’s Potted Pigeon!

Christmas is coming, and the goose is getting fat. (Or pigeon in this case.) The Groes Inn, an absolutely charming hotel in Conwy have been well known by visitors to the region as well as locals alike as a fantastic destination for foodies for many years, thanks to it’s love of simplicity, and high-quality but unpretentious menus.

The Groes Inn wholeheartedly believe in good, decent and honest food, as well as the usage of products which are from North Wales to ensure that you’ll enjoy the very best this beautiful region has to offer. We’re delighted to announce that the Groes Inn have entrusted us with their very own recipe for potted pigeon – which we feel would be the perfect starter for Christmas Day.

Every recipe should serve 6-10 people, so the whole family should be on their way to culinary heaven, thanks to this hearty dish directly from the Groes Inn’s talented chef.

  •         Six whole pigeons, prepared and plucked.
  •         Salt
  •         One garlic bulb
  •         Fifteen chopped and fresh leaves of sage
  •         Three bay leaves
  •         100ml of light or pale ale
  •         Two tablespoons of madeira
  •         A pinch of ground mace
  •         Black pepper
  •         Butter

You’ll begin by sprinkling the prepared and plucked pigeons with salt. Then, you’ll gently pick them up and place them within a casserole dish along with the garlic bulb, sage leaves, bay leaves and then you’ll pour the ale upon the mixture.

The Groes Inn’s Chef advised us that you are welcome to use whichever pigeon you would like, though they themselves favour using Denbigh pigeons due to their better flavour. As for type of ale, you are more than welcome to use whichever you would like, but they like to make this dish extra special with a splash of their very own Groes Ale.   

Whatever pigeon and ale you decide to use, get a lid on the mixture and pop it into a preheated oven, at 110C. Leave the mixture to cook until the meat is nice and tender, and falling off the bone in around 1-2 hours. When that’s smelling good, carefully remove the casserole dish from the oven – and drain off (but remember to keep!) the liquid. Be careful as you remove the bay leaves from the mixture. When it’s cooled off, remove the skin and bones from the pigeons, and shred the meat.

Place the meat into a bowl and mash your remaining garlic with the madeira, mace and pepper. There’s no right or wrong amounts to use – just a lot of tasting until you find what works for you!  Add the liquid you should have saved earlier, and gently mix it together until it’s nice and creamy. Finally, place it in a jar and drizzle a little melted butter in before serving.

This dish is perfect with toast, and should be the perfect Christmas starter for all of your family this year. Enjoy!


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