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Posts Tagged ‘Pheasant’

Game season comes and goes every year and sometimes we don’t get around to cooking any before it’s over, which is a shame as we love the flavours. This year, however, we got ourselves organised and made this rich and full-flavoured pheasant ragu for pasta. Your butcher should be able to order a pheasant for you if it’s not something they usually stock.

Wine Suggestion: Find yourself a good Nebbiolo with a little bit of age on it. Sitting in our cellar was a Pira Luigi Barolo Marenca from 2012. A combination of fresh, dried and morello cherry flavours with classic rose and tar aromas; massive, under-stated power, elegantly refined and opening up beautifully over a number of hours. At eight years old this is still evolving nicely and has a good life ahead of it … wish we had a few more!

Pheasant ragu for pasta – serves 4

  • 250ml chicken stock
  • a handful of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 pheasant
  • 80g pancetta cubes
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • a bay leaf
  • 125ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • ½ lemon
  • 400g tagliatelle, cooked to serve
  • Parmesan, to serve

Bring the chicken stock to a simmer, then add the mushrooms and leave them in the hot stock while you brown the pheasant.

Brown the pheasant in a heavy-based casserole dish in a little olive oil, you want it to be nicely coloured on all sides. When the pheasant is browned, add the pancetta cubes and allow to brown. Add the shallots and garlic and stir for a minute before adding the bay leaf. Pour in the white wine and bubble for a minute. Add the stock and the mushrooms, leave any gritty bits behind in the pan. Season well and bring to a simmer, then cover with a tight lid and cook gently for about an hour or until the meat starts to fall off the bones.

Remove the pheasant from the pan and discard the bay leaf. Let the pheasant cook for a bit, then strip the meat off the bones and tear into pieces. Meanwhile, simmer the sauce to thicken it a little and cook the tagliatelle in lots of salty water.

Return the shredded pheasant to the sauce with the chopped parsley and a squeeze of lemon juice. Toss with the tagliatelle and serve with Parmesan.

(Original recipe by Lulu Grimes in Olive Magazine, October 2014.)

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We made this as a Sunday night dinner for two and it is rich and packed full of flavour. Pheasant is appropriately in season in Ireland at the moment, as are apples, so a perfect choice.

Roast Pheasant with Apple and Calvados – to serve 2-3

  • 1 plump young pheasant, about 725-900g
  • 10g butter
  • 4-5 tbsp Calvados
  • 225ml cream or 125ml cream and 125ml chicken stock
  • 25g butter
  • 2 desserts apples

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.

Heat a casserole, just large enough to fit the pheasant. Season the cavity and spread the 10g of butter over the breast and leg. Place breast-side down in the casserole and allow to brown over a gentle heat, then turn over and season. Cover with a tight lid and cook for 40-45 minutes in the oven.

To check if it is cooked, poke a fork between the leg and the breast, the juices should be completely clear with no pink.Transfer to a serving dish and keep warm.

Carefully strain and de-grease the casserole juices. Bring to the boil, add the Calvados and carefully light with a match. Shake the pan and when the flames have gone out, add the cream (or stock and cream). Reduce by boiling until the sauce thickens, stirring now and then, taste for seasoning.

Peel, core and dice the apples and fry in the 25g of butter until golden. Carve the pheasant and arrange on a hot serving dish or on individual plates. Cover with the sauce and serve with the apple. We also had some colcannon on the side.

Wine Suggestion: You need a powerful and earthy red, balanced with good acidity for this dish. We drank a 2005 Cornu Corton-Bressandes Grand Cru 2005 on the inspiration of one of Jono’s customers who was looking for an opinion; we heartily endorse it as it had the depth and personality to stand up to the rich and powerful flavours with it’s own power, depth and freshness. Superb. Burgundy and game work really well.

(Original recipe from Darina Allen’s Ballymaloe Cookery Course, Kyle Cathie Limited, 2001.)

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