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Snipe salmis recipe
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5 from 2 votes

Salmis of Snipe

As I'd mentioned above, you can use most small game with this snipe recipe, but try to stick with small birds. I really recommend you make the French Sauce Espagnol, as it adds richness and body to the sauce, but it will work with just stock, too. Any mushroom will work here, but I like wild mushrooms. I used chanterelles in this case.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Keyword: mushrooms, roasted meats, snipe
Servings: 2 people
Author: Hank Shaw


  • 4 snipe, plucked and gutted
  • Vegetable oil to coat birds
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 cup red or rose wine
  • 2 minced shallots
  • 1 cup beef, duck or chicken stock (or 1/2 cup stock and 1/2 cup Sauce Espagnol, see below)
  • 4 tablespoons duck fat or butter, divided
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 3 tablespoons minced parsley


  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 heaping tablespoons duck fat or butter
  • 3/4 cup white or rose wine
  • 1 heaping tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and black pepper
  • About 1 cup duck, beef or chicken stock


  • If you are making the Sauce Espagnol, do that first. Heat the duck fat or butter in a small pot and add the flour. Stir well and let this cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until it turns the color of peanut butter. Add the wine (the mixture will sputter), and stir it in until combined. Turn the heat to medium-high and mix in the tomato paste, thyme and enough stock to make a thin gravy. Add salt and black pepper to taste and let this cook very gently over the lowest heat on the weakest burner you have.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F. Coat the snipe with oil and salt well. Put them in a cast iron frying pan or small roasting pan. Roast for 8 minutes. Remove the birds from the oven and slice off the breasts and the legs. Set them aside for now.
  • Smash the rest of the carcasses in a mortar and pestle or in a pot using a potato masher. Put them in a medium pot and cover with 1 1/4 cups rose or red wine, the minced shallots and a pinch of salt. Bring to a rolling boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup Sauce Espagnol and 1/2 cup duck, beef or chicken stock - or 1 cup stock if you are not making the espagnol - and boil this down by half. Set a fine strainer over a small pot and pour the contents of the first pot into it. Boil the strained sauce down by 1/3, then reduce the heat to low. Swirl in 2 tablespoons of butter, one tablespoon at a time. Keep warm.
  • While the carcasses are boiling, do the mushrooms. Set the mushrooms in a large frying or saute pan and turn the heat to high. Shake the mushrooms as they start to sizzle, and soon they will begin to give up their water; dry mushrooms won't, but they'll start to sear. When most of the water has boiled away or the mushrooms are searing, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss to combine. Add the salt and thyme and some black pepper and cook over medium-high heat until the mushrooms start to brown, about 8 minutes.
  • To finish the dish, get a small pan very hot and add a little vegetable oil to it. When the oil just barely starts to smoke, set the snipe breasts and legs in the pan skin side down. Sear until crispy, about 2 minutes. Or, you can use a torch like a Searzall to crisp the skin.
  • Toss the sauce with the mushrooms and give everyone some. Set the snipe pieces on top and garnish with parsley. I like to serve this with mashed potatoes or thick pieces of toast fried in butter or duck fat.


While thick pieces of toast are traditional, I like this with mashed potatoes or celery root. Serve a medium-bodied red wine with this, like a Grenache or Chianti or California Pinot Noir. For beer, go with malty, like a brown ale, Belgian tripel, or Scottish ale.