To Make The Risotto
In a heavy based saucepan, melt a little bit of butter, and then add into the pan the chopped onion, chopped garlic and chopped thyme. Sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the mushrooms and the pearl barley and continue to sauté for a couple more minutes. Add the stock gradually, stirring the pearl barley continuously until all the stock has been used and the pearl barley is soft with a slight bite (al dente).
To the risotto, add the remaining butter, cheese, mustard and lemon juice. Season well and continue stirring.
To Roast The Pigeon
To cook the pigeon, preheat the oven to 220C.
Season the bird well with sea salt and pepper, including the internal cavity.
Sear in a hot pan until the pigeon is browned. Place the pan into the hot oven and roast for 6-7 minutes. Leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Serve in deep bowls with the carved pigeon strewn over the top.
A forest feast for the senses and one that will remain in your autumn repertoire.