Woodcock in Salmis Sauce

Ladies and gentlemen please prepare yourself for a ritualistic cooking adventure! Salmis sauce is a classic recipe used for small game that needs caring attention and patience to prepare.

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3-4 woodcocks
1 large onion diced
3 glasses dry, white wine
2 bay leaves
1 medium tomato
salt & pepper
100 gr butter
500 gr mushrooms cleaned
3-4 tbsp flour


Preheat oven to 180°C

1. Carefully remove all intestines, heads and excess fat from the woodcocks. Cut, bones and all, into small pieces and reserve them to use for the salmis sauce.Tie the woodcocks well using one piece of string to keep the wings and the legs tightly together. Season with salt and pepper, inside and out.  Put them breast up in a roasting tray and roast until the breast meat is cooked through but not dry. (test this by inserting a fork or knife into the meat and seeing what color the juices are. they should be a rosy color.)

2. Put the onion in a medium casserole with a tabled spoon of butter and cook until they start turning golden brown.

3. Now add the intestines and bones to the onions. Using a wooden spoon pound them to get all the juices out and cook on high heat until the have a dark color.

4. Add the white wine and let it boil until nearly totally reduced.

5. Season with the bay leaves, and a little salt and pepper. Add two cups of water and let it reach a boil.

6. Piece the woodcock, remove the breasts and the legs.  Add the legs to the sauce to finish cooking.

7. Let the sauce boil for as long as is needed to finish off the legs. (approx. 20-30 minutes)

8. In the meantime saute your mushrooms in 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour.  Once they have a nice golden color, set aside to use in a little.

9.  When the legs are ready, take them out of the sauce. Strain it, in a thin sieve and return to the heat.

10. Add the mushrooms to the sauce. Allow to boil, and stir well. If it has still not become a thick nice texture, add 1 more tablespoon of flour and bring to a boil again. Repeat this procedure until you get it to a texture thick enough to cover the meat when poured on top. It should now have a nice dark color.

11. Place the cooked woodcocks in a platter, and pour the salmis sauce over it.


Partridges, Pigeons or Quails can be used as well
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