TO The sweet but sharp apple is the perfect accompaniment to the wild hunt, and it has a similar season from fall through the winter solstice, when stored apples begin to wilt and hunting season ends. However, an old apple is still great for cooking, and in today’s recipe I sauté them with thyme and butter, then pour over creamy braised pheasant.
Like apples, pheasant is a humble ingredient that often goes to waste. Savills 2018 Game Meat Survey found that only 48% of shoot-shot game is caught by game dealers, and suggested that a sustainable market for this surplus meat needs to be created. Game is nutritious and, from a good butcher, also cheap.
Pheasant Normandy with apples
This classic French dish combines two humble and often wasted ingredients in a harmonious stew. The rich, creamy sauce and umami-flavored meat are cut and complemented by sauteed sweet and tart apples, which finish the dish. TO Field Alliance Survey found that 85% of consumers had never bought pheasant or partridge, but a high percentage were willing to try them, especially since this game meat is cheap, nutritious and delicious. Both birds have a subtle flavor and are a great introduction to wild meat, although the dish can of course be made with chicken or other poultry if you prefer.
Cider brandy makes a wonderful appetizer and adds a real depth of flavor to this dish, but it is by no means an essential ingredient. If you don’t feel like drinking cider brandy or calvados, and don’t want to buy a bottle just for this recipe, plain cider will suffice; otherwise, deglaze the pan with another liquor such as brandy, whiskey, or vodka. (When I first made this, I didn’t have cider brandy on hand, so I used whiskey instead, and it was delicious.)
I would suggest serving this with mashed potatoes and/or crusty bread. If you want to enhance your mash, boil some celeriac and/or Jerusalem artichokes until soft, blend to a puree, and toss with your mashed potatoes with plenty of butter and seasonings.
It serves two
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large pheasantjointed on 2 legs and 2 bone-in breasts, including giblets
1 onionpeeled and grated
1 stick of celerygrated
3 garlic clovespeeled and grated
6 stalks of parsley
3 bay leavesyou see
1 teaspoon juniper berries
for the casserole
2 strips of streaky smoked baconcut into lardons
3 shallotspeeled and cut in half
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ tablespoon of dijon mustard
50ml cider brandyor calvados or other spirits (eg, brandy, whiskey, vodka)
500ml of cider
250 ml of pheasant broth (see above and method), or chicken broth
50ml double cream
20g of butter
6 sprigs of thyme
To serve (optional)
Jerusalem artichoke and mashed potatoes, or mashed potatoes, crusty bread, winter leaves
Make the broth first. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat, then add the pheasant carcass, heart, gizzards and other trimmings, season well with salt and sauté for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned. everywhere. Add water to cover, bring to a simmer and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. At this point, if you have a slow cooker, transfer the contents of the pot to it and cook for four to eight hours over low, shaky heat; otherwise, simmer on the hob for at least two hours, and ideally four.
Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley stalks, bay leaves, and juniper berries, simmer for a further hour, then strain through cheesecloth or a fine sieve and set aside. cool. The broth will now keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to five days.
In a large saucepan, sauté the lard and halved shallots over medium heat until golden brown, then remove and set aside. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and the pheasant legs and breasts, then brown on all sides. Add the cider brandy, deglaze the pan and return the lard and shallots to the pot with the mustard and cider. Bring to a simmer, cook for three minutes, then add the broth. Return to a simmer, lift the pheasant breasts, then cover the skillet and simmer the legs for an hour to 90 minutes, or until tender.
Raise the legs, turn up the heat and reduce the liquid by half. Add the double cream, return all the meat to the skillet, bring it back to a simmer and cook for five minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. She cuts the apples into wedges (if you prefer, core them too), then sautés with the thyme until golden brown. She spreads the apples and butter over the top of the pheasant and serves from the pot, with mash or mash, wilted vegetables and a nice crusty bun.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism