We get a lot of game birds in the garden (pheasant and partridge), taking refuge from the local shoot. Although I’ve yet to catch one, we do get them from friends down the road.
I was sent this recipe last year (thanks Fiona), it sounds slightly odd with the bread but it’s amazing – I cooked it several times during last year’s shooting season and now I’ve got some more pheasants, I’ll be making it again this weekend.
Now it’s time to see if I can still remember how to skin them – I got quite good at it last year (amazing what you can learn from youtube!)
half an onion, chopped
1 cooking apple, skinned and cored, 1/4 kept aside and the rest chopped (if using a normal apple add some lemon juice)
3-4 slices of white bread, crusts removed
1/2 a star anise, broken into pieces
1 tablespoon of honey dissolved in 3 tablespoons of boiling water
10-12 sprigs of thyme, leaves stripped from stalks
2 tablespoons dry white wine
Lashings of ground black pepper
- Line the base of your casserole dish with the bread.
- Scatter over the thyme, chopped apple, chopped onion and star anise.
- Pour the wine and honey and water mixture over the top.
- Place the pheasant breast down over the top and bake for 1.5 hours at 160c degrees (140c fan oven). If it’s a big/old bird it may need a further half hour or so.
- When the pheasant is tender set aside to rest for 20 mins
- Liquidise the sauce with a stick blender and add lashings of freshly ground black pepper
- Pour the sauce over the pheasant to serve
(This is fantastic served with really crispy roast potatoes)