What won’t I do to do to get the Irish vote? – Mushroom Stuffed Quail Sous Vide

Quail Sous Vide (1 of 2)Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst led the Suffragette movement in the early part of the 20th century. They and their followers went to extremes to get the vote for women. They chained themselves to railings. They threw bricks through windows. They went on hunger strike. One of them even ended up killing herself under the king’s horse at the Epsom derby in 1913. Those lassies really wanted the right to vote. You now have that right. All I ask is that, if you are in Ireland, you use it with the wisdom that I know you posses. 

At this stage of your reading, you probably have guessed that I have entered a cookery competition. I have and I need your vote for my Mushroom Stuffed Quail Sous Vide with Porcini Pasta and Pinot Noir Sauce. Like any politician trying to get his nose out in front (like the king’s horse, perhaps) I will say pretty well anything to get your vote. But, more of that later. For now, get over to the Cono Sur Wines Ireland Recipes page and cast your vote as if you were involved in selecting an honest leader for FIFA. That is, vote for the one you know is as pure as the driven snow. Put another way – Vote for me.

If you do cast your vote in my direction I give my politician’s promise to bring you with me, not only to the semi-finals in Paris in November this year, but onward to Chile to share the overall prize in 2016. So vote for me. You can trust what I say. My word is my bond and I have a clear conscience about everything I have ever done in my guilt free life.

Here’s the ingredients I used.

  • 4 quail cleaned and dressed
  • A bottle of Cono Sur Single Vineyard Pinot Noir
  • 2 shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 100 grammes or so of mixed mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • A handful of parsley
  • 210 grammes of ’00’ flour
  • 2 free range eggs and the yoke of a third
  • 20 grammes of dried porcini mushrooms

Side note on voting convenience: In the same tradition as a local councillor arranging a coach to bring groups of pensioners to the poling station, I have cunningly linked each photograph to the voting page. So when you have seen enough to make you say “YES! I’ll vote for Conor.”, simply click on the nearest photo in the post. It’s the sort of convenience that I promise for my followers, should I be favoured with a win. Sadly, for mobile users,  

Here’s how to prepare it;

Slice the necks from the quail and reserve.

You need a hard neck for politics. These lads would never get into parliament.

You need a hard neck for politics. These lads would never get into parliament.

Finely slice the shallots and garlic.

Shallots seem to be like concentrated onions. I wept like a Suffragette at the races.

Shallots seem to be like concentrated onions. I wept like a Suffragette at the races.

Chop the mushrooms reasonably small (remember they are being used to stuff a tiny bird).

Lovely chestnut mushrooms. They are very woodland flavoured, if that's possible.

Lovely chestnut mushrooms. They are very woodland flavoured, if that’s possible.

Heat some olive oil and a knob of butter in a pan. With the heat on low to medium, sweat the shallots and garlic until aromas are rising from the pan.

That's what 'aromas rising' looks like.

That’s what ‘aromas rising’ looks like.

Add the mushrooms and stir.

If you love mushrooms, vote for me! If you don't vote for me anyway.

If you love mushrooms, vote for me! If you don’t vote for me anyway.

Turn the heat down to low. Slowly reduce the mushrooms while stirring occasionally. This will intensify the flavours. Season with salt and black pepper. When the mushrooms are well reduced, turn up the heat to high and add half a glass of Cono Sur Pinot Noir.

Yes I used the wine in the mushrooms. It helps marry the flavours.

Yes I used the wine in the mushrooms. It helps marry the flavours and to impress the judges.

Stir until the alcohol has evaporated and the wine is well reduced and integrated with the mushrooms. Turn the heat off. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and let the mushrooms cool enough to handle. Do not wash the pan.

Stuff the quail with the mushrooms.

This shot might lose me a couple of votes! Don't be squeamish. Vote for me.

This shot might lose me a couple of votes! Don’t be squeamish. Vote for me.

There should be some mushrooms left over to help in flavouring the sauce. Tie the legs of the quail together.

They are small but very tasty. Not just like a small chicken.

They are small but very tasty. Not just like a small chicken.

Vacuum seal the quail in cooking bags and cook sous vide at 60 degrees Centigrade for any time between two and two and a half hours.

Stuffing them is a great idea. Otherwise, they float!

Stuffing them is a great idea. Otherwise, they float! We don’t want any floating voters either.

Add the unused mushrooms back to the pan and add the quail necks. Add a generous knob of butter. Fry over a medium heat to extract flavour from the mushrooms and necks. Increase the heat to high.

Four necks give off a decent amount of flavour. Brown them nicely.

Four necks give off a decent amount of flavour. Brown them nicely.

Add a glass of Cono Sur Pinot Noir and stir until reduced, to form a flavoursome sauce. Taste and season as appropriate. Reserve.

Now that is one tasty sauce. Neck, wine, mushroom, salt and pepper. Delicious.

Now that is one tasty sauce. Neck, wine, mushroom, salt and pepper. Delicious.

Blitz the dried porcini mushrooms until they form a dust.

They turn to a fine dust. Just like a politician's promise.

They turn to a fine dust. Just like a politician’s promise.

Add the flour, porcini dust and the eggs to a large bowl.

The porcini pasta ingredients. Like most politicians for whom we vote, not much to it.

The porcini pasta ingredients. Like most politicians for whom we vote, not much to it.

Using your hands, mix until a pasta dough has been formed. Remove from the bowl and knead until the dough is pliant. Wrap in cling film and place in the refrigerator for half an hour.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Roll out the pasta and make fettuccine.

The pasta has a nice mid brown colour. The aroma is wonderful.

The pasta has a nice mid brown colour. The aroma is wonderful.

Hang the pasta until needed.

The back of a chair works for me. Would it get your vote?

The back of a chair works for me. Would it get your vote?

Slice the parsley up small. Remove the quail from their bath.

The poor little quail look a bit odd when they come out. Cooked yet not browned.

The poor little quail look a bit odd when they come out. Cooked yet not browned.

Pat them dry and brown them on a hot pan containing oil and butter.

Four of them in the pan. They are small little darlings.

Four of them in the pan. They are small little darlings.

Strain the sauce. Cook the pasta in the boiling water. Assemble the dish.

For what it's worth, it got my vote.

For what it’s worth, it got my vote.

Serve (with the sauce on the side) and enjoy with a well-earned glass of Cono Sur Single Vineyard Pinot Noir. Bon Appétite.

A final note on suffrage: Do spare a thought for the Pankhurst sisters. Not only did they eventually win the vote for women but they taught us men how to behave on stag weekends. Throwing bricks through windows, robbing policemen’s helmets, chaining each other to railings. Wonderful girls….

Written by
Latest comments
  • I was going to vote, but it doesn’t look like I’m eligible and I couldn’t see a button to press on the site 🙁

    • Hi MD,
      There is a drop down under the Recipes section. Hopefully you are both eligible and willing.
      Best,
      C

      • Sorry, no drop down here and the rules say, “consumers will be able to vote on their country´s favorite recipe.” Good luck though, I hope you are successful 🙂

        • Thanks MD. I’ll modify the text to reflect it.

  • Oh I got the drop down menu, but the Colonies obviously are not on the ‘wanted’ list! Lovely recipe and very good luck 🙂 ! And I hope you can take us to Paris and Chile anyways . . .

  • Hi Conor … I was restricted to voting for Canadian entries otherwise you’d have mine!

    • Thanks John,
      I know it will come down to a recount, hanging chads and spoiled votes in the end.

  • The photo of the back of the chair got my vote but sadly, those from Down Under are unable to vote. Good luck and may the force of porcini pasta be with you.

    • Why does nobody in ireland read this stuff?
      Thanks for the kind thoughts.

  • Sadly, not even your usual brand of golden-tongued persuasiveness can make me eligible to vote. I tried, believe me, but was thwarted at every turn. ‘Your country is not participating’. Aargh, rejected… It seems that all the willing parties so far have been from Australia, a country, incidentally, where women got the vote in the 19th, not 20th century.

    • You got it without having to jump under racehorses too. Too kind of you to try.

  • You’re a lefty! I had no idea. My brother is a lefty and he’s alright.
    Above and beyond the call this time Conor. This is some pretty serious business going on here. The porcini in the pasta is a brilliant touch to match all those earthy flavours. I hope you saved me some wine 🙂

    • Yes. One of the 10%. There will always be wine for you. Water for the Kid.

  • You got my winning vote for a delicious looking dish even though I’m officially not allowed to vote…I tried. I have my figures crossed that I’ll soon be accompanying you to Paris and beyond. 😀

    • Of course Karen! I was always going to bring you. I may have overstated my intentions to the others.

  • You recipe looks amazing! I tried to vote as well, but no luck so I am sending my virtual vote via this message.

    Good luck with the contest! Love your blog.

    • Sadly, only those in Ireland can cast a vote. It is democratic, if not what I might want. Still, I enjoyed writing the post and love all the non-voting support. You guys are the silent majority on this one.
      Thank you!
      Conor

  • Another one who can’t vote. Russia not participating, seemingly.
    Great looking recipe, and I may follow it, although I’d roast rather than cook sour-vide, to be fair.

  • Also not eligible to vote, unfortunately. Russia is not participating.
    With this fantastic international audience you have, it must be time for a world tour, Conor?

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for trying. They are delicious roasted too. Though on has to avoid overcooking the little things. I appreciate the support, even if you are not added to the burgeoning pile of votes.
      Best,
      Conor

  • A politicians promise! Sure what more could ya want 🙂
    I was on the Cono Sur site yesterday, there are a lot of great recipes on it. I’m off to vote for you – good luck!

    • Donna,
      You are an angel.
      Thank you,
      Conor

  • I can’t vote either, sorry, though I would cheerfully beat the king’s horse to the finishing post if I thought I was in with a chance of eating that amazing meal. Beats a bag of oats any day. Do feel free to post some of the pasta if you’d like to bribe me ahead of future competitions. Good luck. Lxxx

  • I also couldn’t vote, unfortunately, but this recipe looks incredible! Best of luck in the contest!

    • Amanda,
      You will just have to move to Ireland and come around to eat in our house. Then you can vote (or not) without feeling any potential guilt.
      Thanks for trying and for the kind words,
      Conor

  • Lovely dish Conor. I can imagine all of the flavors and especially love the porcini pasta. All around it’s a real winner even if I can’t vote for your recipe. I can see your recipe, just can’t vote for it. It says Ireland is not a participating country, only Italy, Canada, Sweden, USA, Japan & Chile. Too bad, especially in light of me being a WASP aka “the Man” who has never been deprived of the right to vote. 😀 😀 😀 😀

    • Throw yourself under a horse Richard. That seems to work.
      I hope you and Baby Lady are well.
      Best,
      Conor

  • Ah here C-dawg! yer knocking the rest of those into several cocked hats fella!

    • Yes Big Man,
      But, did you throw your vote my way. Did you get your family to do likewise? What about those vegetable deprived neighbours of yours? Where are the votes? I will judge you on the votes….

  • I haven’t really got time to leave a long comment I am too busy wondering what to wear in November, wonder what the weather will be like in Paris? That’s how good I think this recipe is.

    • Maria, it’s you and me. Pack for Chile too!

  • Add me to the non-voting support list! I can only vote between two US recipes, and I won’t give either of them one to take away for any that you get. Best wishes on a winning entry, Conor!

    • Thanks Kathryn. I know you would support me if you were here. On reflection, I believe that if you were here, you would slip an entry in yourself. Now I don’t know what to think of you!

  • I’m not eligible to vote either 🙁 Your pairing of quail and mushrooms with pinot noir is excellent. Very good idea to stuff quail and then cook sous-vide, I had not thought of that yet. I love that you use the quail necks to flavor the sauce.
    Not sure if it is a good idea to show the bottle of Cono Sur out of focus in the plated shot 😉
    It may be a good thing that Italians are not eligble to vote, because they would frown upon serving a whole quail (secondo piatto) on top of pasta (primo piatto). Not because it isn’t delicious, but simply because it’s not what they are used to from their mamma and nonna.
    I hope Irish palates are sophisticated enough — because if they are you will certainly win!

    • Thanks Stefan,
      The quail were really delicious. So much more flavour than, as my Mum described her anticipation, “a small chicken”. I thought the subtle inclusion of the bottle would win approval, without it being an overt “Give the prize to this lad, he is promoting our wine.” The porcini dust has an incredible flavour that softens in the cooking. I was pretty pleased with the entire. Thanks for the vote of confidence, if not an actual vote.
      Best,
      Conor

      • I always think of quail as what chicken should taste like (and only does if you get really really really good chicken). Cooking it sous-vide is important to prevent it from drying out, which happens all too easily with quail.
        Stuffed quail sous-vide is now definitely on my list of things to make when I get back from Italy.

        • Excellent. Enjoy the trip (as I know you will).

  • You should win. All my best wishes and thoughts for you and your fun-filled, joy-soaked recipes.

    Honestly, you are the one and only blogger out there who can cook well, write with extreme humor and hypnotize the readers ( like a snake-charmer) 😀

    This is one heck of a charismatic post.
    Love.

    • You are a beautiful person Nusrat. So kind.

  • Oh, no! Did I miss my one and only chance to vote for an honest leader? It’s giving me only 2 choices (neither of which I want). And this looks really delicious.

    • Sadly, yes Michelle. Anybody would think it’s rigged!

  • Bahaha. I’m going to vote and just to keep it legit I’m going to use my real name too… At least the first time anyway…

  • Sorry to say that I have the same problem as everyone else…I don’t have suffrage. Someone needs to throw themselves under a cheval if I’m to help you get to Paris. Disgraceful rules…with the amount of disallowed votes that have been pledged you’d be on the plane to Chile as I speak…..but voting has never had a reputation for fairness, come to think of it:)…wishing you the very best of luck..nice recipe.

  • Looks amazing and I guess I was too late to vote. But you have my vote here!

Join the conversation, you know you want to....

%d bloggers like this: