The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


The slow cooker chef: Hot spring game pie

Posted in Pheasant and Game, Savoury Pies | 14 comments

The slow cooker chef: Hot spring game pie

It’s the time of year when we start to clear the freezer of game given to us during the shooting season. We tend to keep our eyes peeled for cut price game.  Waitrose stocks rabbit, venison, pigeon, partridge and quail. All quite expensive but often marked down to half the original price –these are brought home and secreted in the freezer until we have the perfect ingredients for this subtle game pie filling. Our favourite combination is venison, rabbit and pheasant. This pads out the pheasant and gives a tremendous range and depth of...

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Secret slow baked pheasant recipe for lazy chefs

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 21 comments

Secret slow baked pheasant recipe for lazy chefs

We’ve had a pretty good season game wise. I have quite a few clients who shoot and are generous with their bounty. I also offer a plucking and dressing service. The fee is a bird for each bird plucked. This guarantees a steady supply of game when I’m not working on a bountiful estate. The Min Pins always goggle when I step into the kitchen with a brace of pheasant slung over my shoulder. I can almost heard them thinking “Finally, she has done a proper day’s work.” In a mild winter I’ll hang the bird for three days in our cold...

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Celebration pheasant recipe with plums and spices à la Monique

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 5 comments

Celebration pheasant recipe with plums and spices à la Monique

My Mum celebrated her birthday this month. As your parents get older, each birthday is a bit more special than the one before. Racking up the years is an achievement. So we wanted to make the celebration lunch a bit special. “Why don’t we create a pheasant dish for your mum?” “She loves Victoria plums and we have some in the freezer. I reckon that they’d work well with pot roast pheasant.” And they did. This is a really easy recipe that tastes as if you have slaved for hours. The sauce has loads of depth and vroom and the pheasant...

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Best Pheasant recipes: two winning recipes for pheasant

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 9 comments

Best Pheasant recipes: two winning recipes for pheasant

We are well into the pheasant shooting season in the UK. It runs from October to February. As we don’t shoot ourselves, we are either given game or swap plucking and dressing game in exchange for a brace. This gives us a reasonable supply for the last three months of the season. The first month is a bit of a desert for us – I hear the bang of guns and know that no one will knock at our door. Having waited eight months to bag the first brace this game is solely for the family tables of the guns. However there is only so much pheasant...

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The slow cooker chef: Recipe for lazy, tasty Pheasant and Venison casserole à la Beastley

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 15 comments

The slow cooker chef: Recipe for lazy, tasty Pheasant and Venison casserole à la Beastley

Sometimes I have to accept a decorating job that I don’t want. I sense on the initial visit that I will not be happy there and make my excuses. I can’t say, “I don’t like you and I don’t want to work for you.” So I explain apologetically that I have a one year waiting list at the moment. Sometimes I treble my quote. The ‘bad job’ radar blipped on my reccy visit to a couple that I will call The Beastleys. They were just a bit too charming and gushy. I trebled my hourly rate and placed them at the...

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Best recipes for left overs: Comforting pheasant pie recipe

Posted in Leftovers, Pheasant and Game, Savoury Pies | 8 comments

Best recipes for left overs: Comforting pheasant pie recipe

Last week we ate a slow pot roast pheasant baked in a nest of spicy red cabbage. It was pretty good – an easier variation of the recipe that appeared in The Times . But I didn’t think that it was a patch on our gypsy style roast pheasant. This evening I made a pheasant pie with the remaining meat. I have be wanting to make a game pie that incorporated a thick bechamel sauce for ages and with six pints of fresh bechamel sauce at the hip now was my chance. Our recipe for thick bechamel is contained in our cauliflower cheese...

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Best recipes for leftovers: pot roast Pheasant and mushroom pie with cider recipe

Posted in Leftovers, Pheasant and Game | 2 comments

Best recipes for leftovers: pot roast Pheasant and mushroom pie with cider recipe

A nibble of cold pheasant, straight from the fridge, is good if a little dry when one is grazing at lunchtime. But I never fancy a proper meal of cold game remnants.This is a hot pie that we made using up the Gypsy style pot roast pheasant leftovers (about half a pheasant) including the remains of the delicious gooey sauce from the base of the casserole (2 tablespoonfuls). You have to make the first dish to get the essential elements of the second. We love this pot roast pheasant but love the sauce more. I was surprised at how much meat was...

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Guest Spot: Casserole of Partridge with Savoy Cabbage and Chorizo recipe by Jocelyn Probert

Posted in Pheasant and Game | 0 comments

Guest Spot: Casserole of Partridge with Savoy Cabbage and Chorizo recipe by Jocelyn Probert

Our friends Miles and Jocelyn live in England at the moment but they also have place in France. An hour’s drive from Versailles, their charming house is within driving distance of several great restaurants, markets and shops. They are gourmets and eat out at lot in both countries. Jocelyn has already contributed to our blog with her memorable starter Jocelyn’s Baked Garlic. With a barely perceptible arm twist she sent me this stunning recipe for game. If you do not pig out there is the option of a spicy game soup the following day....

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