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Celebration pheasant recipe with plums and spices à la Monique

Photo: cock pheasant in field

Photo: cock pheasant in field

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 was very tender. Although the sauce only contains the fat from the bird, it tasted rich and one hen pheasant easily fed three people. I had skinned the pheasant that we used so it was vital that the casserole dish was tightly sealed throughout the cooking process. If you are using a pheasant with skin you could brown the bird by frying in a little olive oil before adding it to the plums.

We used our recipe for mini roast potatoes to partner this dish as they can be cooked at a low temperature and the small crispy potatoes are much tastier than game chips. I also discovered that they could be cooked until the crisping stage and set aside in a warm place until the meal was nearly ready. They were then returned to a hot oven ten minutes before the main course was served. They warmed through and crisped up perfectly.

Celebration pheasant recipe with plums and spices à la Monique

Ingredients:

  • 1 hen pheasant (plucked or skinned)
  • 450g of plums
  • 30g of crustless white bread (cubed into 1 cm pieces)
  • 1 small cooking apple for stuffing the cavity of the bird (a couple of plums would do at a pinch)
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 0.5 tsp of allspice
  • 0.5 tsp of mixed herbs
  • 1 tblsp of ground coriander
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 fat clove of garlic chopped fine
  • Lashings of ground black pepper
  • 2 heaped tablespoons of sloe and bramley apple jelly or honey (this is added at the end at the sauce making stage)

Method:

  1. Halve the plums and remove the stones. Line the base of a small casserole with the plums.
  2. Scatter over the chopped bread along with the garlic, herbs and spices.
  3. Quarter and core the cooking apple (no need to peel) and put into the cavity of the pheasant. Wrap the bird with the slices of streaky bacon and place it breast down on the plums. Cover the casserole very tightly with kitchen foil and a lid. Bake in a low oven 160c (140c fan) for about 1.5 hours. A bigger pheasant may need two hours.
  4. When the bird is tender remove from the dish, wrap it tightly in foil and leave it in a warm place to relax.
  5. Meanwhile return bacon to the oven to crisp while you prepare the sauce. Liquidise the sauce using a stick blender and add some jelly or honey to taste.

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4 Comments

  1. Have been waiting to use this recipe for a while as I had a pheasant waiting in the freezer. All defrosted ready to go when I rememembered the plums! All was not lost because there were greengages in the freezer from our own trees.
    What a success – the sauce was fresh and slightly sharp which proved a perfect compliment to the meat. Will certainly use again.

    • Fiona Nevile

      Hi Cat

      So pleased that you enjoyed this recipe. Thanks so much for dropping by and leaving a comment.

  2. Howling Duck Ranch

    I might try this with my Muscovy ducks (which are actually goose). Looks yummy but I don’t have access to pheasant.

  3. kate (uk)

    I braised some venison with plums yesterday, it was very good indeed.Plums and game just seem to go together!

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