Pot-roasted squab with Dutch carrots and green onions

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 4 (about 350gm each) squabs, jointed, carcasses reserved (see note)
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 1 large leek, finely chopped
  • 3 stalks of celery, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 30 ml kitul treacle (see note)
  • 30 ml white wine vinegar
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
  • 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch of green onions, trimmed
  • 1 bunch of Dutch carrots, scrubbed
01   Preheat oven to 180C. Place carcasses in a roasting tray and roast until deep brown and aromatic (15-20 minutes). Transfer to a large saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to one-third (about 20 minutes). Strain, discarding carcasses.
02   Heat olive oil in a large casserole pan over low-medium heat, add leek, celery and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and sweet (about 30 minutes), season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Deglaze pan with treacle and vinegar, add wine and thyme, stir to combine and set aside.
03   Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat, add squab skin-side down and cook until browned (3-4 minutes), then place skin-side up on top of leek mixture. Add onions to pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until golden (3-4 minutes) and transfer to casserole. Add Dutch carrots to frying pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until brown (5-6 minutes) then transfer to casserole. Pour over enough reduced stock to cover (excess stock will keep in the freezer for up to 1 month), cover with a lid and cook until squab is tender (about 15 minutes). Pour off sauce into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until reduced by one-third (about 10 minutes). Serve squab and vegetables drizzled with reduced sauce.
Note Squabs are available from butchers, but you may need to order them in advance. Ask your butcher to joint the squab for you and reserve carcasses. Kitul treacle, a Sri Lankan palm sugar-based treacle, is available from Sri Lankan and Indian grocers.

Recipe:

HUGH WENNERBOM

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

EMMA KNOWLES

Drinking Suggestion:

SPICY COOL-CLIMATE SHIRAZ. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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