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.
I came up with this recipe when we were given several frozen items from a friend who was moving. We borrowed the recipe from Moro, and adapted it to what we had.
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 150g panceta or other cured pork belly, finely sliced
- 10 small shallots, finely chopped
- 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 4 bayleaves
- 1 cinnamon stick (although 1/2 tsp cinnamon would have been easier)
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 4 cloves, roughly ground
- 1 can of chopped organic tomatoes
- 1 large pheasant, jointed
- 200ml white wine
- 1 jar of cooked chestnuts (Ronnie’s shop)
- salt and pepper to season
- In a large suacepan, heat half the olive oil and cook the panceta over a medium heat for five minutes
- Add the chopped shallots, carrot, garlic and bay leaves and continue to cook for another 5-10 minutes, until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown nicely
- Add the cinnamon, thyme, paprika, cloves, stir for a little bit longer then add the tomatoes, turn the heat down low.
- While the tomatoes are simmering, in a large flat pan, heat the rest of the olive oil, season the pheasant joints and fry until brown on all sides.
- Add the legs/thighs and then the wine to the saucepan with the tomatoes, and simmer with the lid on for 45 minutes.
- Add the roughly chopped chestnuts along with the pheasant breast meat, and cook slowly for another 10 minutes, with the lid off.
- Check the seasoning, and allow to rest for around 10 minutes before serving
We had this with roast parsnips and mashed potatoes. And wine.