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Prue’s Coats smoked pigeon pâté

If you fancy having a go at your own smoking then this pigeon pâté recipe will give you the perfect opportunity to practice


Smoked pigeon pâté is perfect served with salad and rustic bread. It is delicious and has a fine texture. This pigeon recipe brings the added element of smoking the pigeon breast. You will need a smoker in order to complete this recipe, but it really couldn’t be simpler to smoke pigeon breasts; just pop them in the smoker with a set amount of sawdust and smoke until it burns out.

This recipe makes enough smoked pigeon pâté for 6-8 people


  • 8 pigeon breasts
  • 5 streaky bacon rashers, de-rinded
  • 110g/4oz unsalted butter
  • 75g/3oz chopped shallot
  • 75ml/3floz vermouth
  • 1 teaspoon runny honey
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon stem ginger juice or dried
  • Ground ginger 1 tablespoon double cream
  • Teaspoon ground cloves
  • Teaspoon mild Dijon mustard
  • Inch of dried dill weed
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Sprinkle two tablespoons of sawdust over the bottom of the smoker and put in the grid and drip tray. Remove the pigeon breasts from the carcase with a sharp knife, place on the grid and then lay three of the bacon rashers on the top. Slide on the lid and put the smoke box over the methylated spirits container, which has been lit. Leave until it has burned out. If using a smoker bag just follow the instructions.
  2. Sauté the shallots and remaining bacon in the butter, until transparent. Transfer to a food processor or liquidiser. Cut the pigeon breasts into 2.5cm/1in dice and sauté for a few seconds, stirring constantly. Take out and put in the food processor. Pour the juices from the drip tray into the sauté pan with the vermouth, honey, lemon juice, ginger juice, cream and the rest of the seasonings. Increase the heat and bubble furiously for a few seconds.
  3. Process the pigeon, bacon and shallots until very finely ground, then pour in the pan juices and blend until really smooth. Spoon into a pot or pots, smooth down and cover with melted butter. Refrigerate for two or three days to allow the flavour to develop. Serve at room temperature and not straight out of the fridge. Freezes well.