The other day the local poultry shop had, slightly improbably, some nice-looking guinea fowl all ready to go and I had, even less probably, a free afternoon (how is it that holidays are just as busy as regular work weeks?). So what better way to kill a few hours than making something new?
The recipe was based on a dish we saw Ash Mair do during one of our marathon UK Masterchef viewing sessions, though I left out the morcilla (Mrs Prick isn’t a fan): You’ve got a breast of guinea fowl on a potato rosti with a ballotine of same on some wilted cabbage and leeks with a white onion purée, all with a nice sherry and apple cider sauce. Came up pretty well, and I was very, very happy with the sauce, which was a reduction of the sherry-stock-apple cider braise used for the wings and thighs and involved a lot of slow cooking and skimming and straining. The white onion purée was a revelation as well; perhaps paradoxically I thinned it with some cream to get the right texture and de-power it somewhat lest it take over the dish. Next time around, though, I’ll pack the ballotine a little more tightly and roast off the bird’s crown a little more gently.
The question of what to drink with the dish kicked off a minor debate on Twitter; ultimately we went with a nice ’08 Margan limited edition shiraz which worked well but may have been a bit too restrained in hindsight. In the end, I suspect a good Bordeaux would have been just the thing.