A shout-out to all of you who are thinking about seeking out the food in your freezers in an emergency, to all of you who have found a couple of pheasants in there. I love a good basic pheasant casserole, it works very well in a coq-au-vin style stew. This version is from Norman Tebbit’s recipe book ‘The Game Cook’.
- 50g butter
- 1 pheasant (I usually joint the pheasant but you don’t have to.)
- 120g streaky bacon, lardons or similar
- 1 large onion
- 200ml red wine
- 600ml stock
- 225g mushrooms, chopped
- salt and pepper
- Pinch of dried thyme leaves (or use a bouquet garni)
- 1 tbsp flour blended to a paste with 25g butter
- Preheat the oven to 170C
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan and brown the pheasant, transfer to a large casserole dish
- Saute the bacon in the frying pan, along with the finely chopped onion, until the onion begins to brown
- Add the fried onion to the casserole dish, along with the wine, stock, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Cook in the oven for a couple of hours.
- When the pheasant is almost cooked, add the mushrooms.
- Once the mushrooms are cooked, you can thicken the stew with the butter/flour mixture. Adjust the seasoning, and serve
I like mashed potato and celeriac with this casserole.
There are other options to add flavour to this casserole. A spoonful of rowanberry jelly or red current jelly adds a fruity twist, or you could add a little cooking apple. Another option would be to add a splash of cream at the end. You could swap the onions for shallots or leeks.