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North African Spiced Bisteeya of Pigeon

This recipe is from Episode 8 of Secret Meat Business


  • 1 whole pigeon, dead & plucked

  • 1 x clove garlic

  • 1 celery, roughly chopped

  • 1 carrot peeled roughly chopped

  • ½ Onion, roughly chopped

  • 1 fresh bay leaf

  • 1 tablespoon saffron

  • 1 tablespoon turmeric, powder

  • 1 knob ginger, grated

  • 1 tablespoon Parsley, finely chopped

  • 3 sprigs thyme

  • ¼ lemon, zested

  • 2 eggs, whisked

  • Salt & pepper

  • 1 cup almonds, toasted & roughly chopped

  • 1 cup pistachios, toasted & roughly chopped

  • 1 cup flaked almonds

  • 1 cup raisins

  • 1 tablespoon cumin, toasted

  • 1 tablespoon coriander, toasted

  • 2 cups honey

  • To Garnish

  • Cinnamon

  • Icing sugar


  • 1.

    Place pigeon into a pot along with the garlic, celery, carrot, bay leaf and onion.

  • 2.

    Bring to the boil and then simmer gently.

  • 3.

    Skim away any foam that rises to the surface

  • 4.

    Add the saffron, turmeric, 1 sprig of thyme and ginger, continue to gently simmer until cooked and tender, aprox 40- 45 minutes,

  • 5.

    Take the pigeon out of the pot, strain off the liquid.

  • 6.

    Pour half of the liquid into a separate pot and place it back on the stove at a high heat and reduce by half.

  • 7.

    When the pigeon has cooled a little remove the meat from the bone and cut into 1 cm pieces.

  • 8.

    Put the cut up pigeon meat into the pot along with the parsley, the thyme leaves and lemon zest.

  • 9.

    Add the eggs to the pot and stir over a low heat until just cooked & slightly thickened.

  • 10.

    Remove from the heat, place onto a plate and place into the fridge to cool.

  • 11.

    Place the almonds, almond flakes and pistachio nuts in a bowl.

  • 12.

    Open out the filo pastry, brush a tray with melted butter and add filo pastry to the base of the tray, add a thin layer of pigeon mixture and some raisins, season with saffron, cumin and coriander. Sprinkle of nuts on top of the layer

  • 13.

    Brush another piece of filo pastry with butter and cover the mixture repeat the method and drizzle honey over the top of the mixture in this layer.

  • 14.

    Scrunch the pastry in at the sides forming a pie shape.

  • 15.

    Repeat the process until pie is complete. Brush the outside of the pie with butter adding another layer of filo pastry to make a thicker coat

  • 16.

    Cook at 200ºC for 12 minutes until pie is cooked, golden and crisp pastry.

  • 17.

    Dust the pie with icing sugar and cinnamon, garnish with fresh parsley and roasted almonds flakes.

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