They say the French have flair. Well, this is a typical Frenchstyle light lunch or starter that is quick and easy to cook. This recipe is ready in 12 minutes, but you’ll need to think it through beforehand.

Ingredients

•onion•garlic•streaky bacon•olive oil•bay leaves•snipe (one per person)•salt and pepper•butter•mushrooms•sweet desert wine (Sauternes)•single cream•parsley

Method

1. Dice the onion and crush three or four cloves of garlic. Cut four rashers of streaky bacon into thin chunks and fry in olive oil with two bay leaves and the whole snipe, stirring occasionally until the snipe starts to brown (around five minutes). Season to taste.

2. Remove the snipe and place in a shallow roasting dish. Add a knob of butter and cook at 200°C for eight to 10 minutes until the meat is pink. Baste once or twice during this time.

3. Chop the mushrooms, add them to the onions and bacon, and cook through. Remove the snipe from the oven, tip them to allow any juices to run into the pan and place them on a serving plate.

4. Place the roasting dish on to a hot ring and add a splash of desert wine. Mix the juices from the birds with the wine and pour into the onion mixture. Increase the temperature and, as the pan bubbles, add a splash of cream and some chopped parsley. Stir through, remove the bay leaves and serve immediately with the snipe.

Tips

Wrap tin foil around the legs of the snipe to bind them together and to stop them charring. Use sweet sherry if you don’t have sweet wine.