Oiseaux Sans Tetes (Headless Birds)

Time: 1 hour

Makes 6

Oiseaux Sans Tetes was a fancy meal for special occasions when I was a kid. I have always loved eating them and my mom and Aunt Thelma used to make them for us! This recipe is a slight variation on their recipe. I have paired it with another Leonard Cohen song that always also brings back great memories… It is a lovely slow tune that is relaxing and enjoyable about a bird (although there is no poultry in this recipe) – enjoy both!

Music Selection: Leonard Cohen – Bird On A Wire


1 – 1 ½ lbs pork loin, sliced into ½ inch slices

4 Tbsp butter

1 shallot, finely diced

¾ lb ground pork or ground mild pork sausage meat

2 Tbsp chopped parsley

¼ tsp salt

6 slices bacon

¼ cup flour

¼ cup butter

1 Tbsp salt

½ tsp pepper

½ cup white wine (optional)

1 tsp chopped thyme

2 Tbsp brandy

4 cups beef broth

1 large carrot, sliced into matchsticks

1 rib celery, sliced into matchsticks

1 shallot, sliced into matchsticks

Fresh herbs for garnish

Mashed Potatoes


Place each slice of pork loin between plastic wrap and, using a meat mallet, pound each until very thin and nearly double in size.

In a large skillet, heat Tbsp butter and cook the shallots and ground pork. If you want to add the wine, add it and cook until liquid is dissolved. Remove from heat, then add the parsley, salt and pepper.

On each piece of pounded out pork loin, add 2 large tablespoons of the ground pork mix . Roll each into a thick cigar shape. Take a strip of bacon and wrap it around the pork loin tightly and use toothpicks to skewer the bacon to the pork loin. Set aside any leftover ground pork.

Place remaining butter in the skillet and sear the bacon around the pork loin, until the bacon is crispy. Remove all of the pork loin rolls from the pan and set aside.

In pan, heat another 2 Tbsp of butter and saute the matchstick shallots, carrots and celery until transparent. Remove from heat and set aside.

In same skillet, heat ¼ cup of butter. When melted, stir in the flour until well mixed and there is no dry flour. Add in the brandy, whisking all the time. Then add in the beef broth and keep whisking until it starts to thicken. Salt/pepper to taste. When at desired thickness, add in the leftover ground pork, mix well. Then add in the “oiseaux” or the bacon wrapped pork loin and cook for another 10 minutes, flip each and cook another ten minutes. Remove from heat.

To serve, place a helping of mashed potatoes on a plate, and make a well in the middle. Place the celery, carrots and shallot matchsticks to resemble twigs in a nest around the potatoes. Then place one of the bacon wrapped pork loin on top and cover with remaining gravy mix. Sprinkle with additional fresh herbs.

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