Still trying to lose weight after Christmas?
For anyone who has never tried game, you are missing out on a lean and healthy option. Pheasant has virtually no saturated fat and only one gram of fat per 100 grams of meat. Modern cooking and storage methods mean that game does not need to be hung for long periods to make the meat tender, so most of the game birds sold today benefit from shorter cooking times and should be served slightly pink.
The Pheasant season in the UK is from October 1st until February 1st, though due to farming, pheasants are available out of season. Ask your butcher to portion up your bird into drumsticks, thighs and two boneless breasts (also called supremes). Also, ask for the carcass which you can freeze and make stock out of another time.
Ingredients (serves 2 people)
1 dressed pheasant (portioned into breasts, thighs and drumsticks)
75g (3oz) sun-dried cranberries
1/2 large orange
1 Tbsp cranberry jelly
1 tsp grain mustard
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
Half a bag mixed salad leaves
4 slices Black Forest ham
6-8 cooked new potatoes
25g (1oz) butter
- Put the dried cranberries into a small bowl and cover with 50ml boiling water. Allow the cranberries to soak for five minutes and then drain.
- Squeeze the juice from the 1/2 orange onto cranberries and then add 1 Tbsp of cranberry jelly and stir. Now add the 1 tsp grain mustard, 2.5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil and sherry vinegar. Finish the dressing with the chopped, fresh tarragon then season with salt and black pepper.
- Preheat oven to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
- Drizzle over the remaining ½ Tbsp olive oil onto all of the pheasant and reserve the breasts to cook later.
- Wrap drumsticks and thighs in a slice of Black Forest ham, season lightly with salt and pepper. Slice each potato into three to four slices and place together with drumsticks and thighs in a small non-stick roasting pan.
- Roast until tender (about 20 -25 minutes), remembering to turn meat and potatoes from time to time. During last five minutes, add 1/2 of the butter to help brown the meat and potatoes.
- In the meantime, wash your salad leaves and drain well.
- As soon as you have added your butter to the roasting pheasant legs and potatoes then heat up a non-stick pan, to cook the breasts.
- Fry the pheasant breast starting skin side down, and then turn after about four minutes. When you turn the pheasant breasts then add the remaining 1/2 of the butter.
- Season breasts lightly, continue to cook for further four minutes and then remove from the heat. Allow all of the pheasant to rest before serving.
Place a nice mound of salad leaves at the centre of two large dinner plates. Carefully arrange a drumstick and thigh on top of the leaves, now top with a breast. Scatter the potato slices around the plate then drizzle with the dressing.
*Some of you may still have a bag of fresh cranberries sitting in the fridge from Christmas that you could use instead of the sun-dried cranberries. Just wash and drain the 100g (4oz) cranberries well, then place in a small nonstick saucepan. Sprinkle lightly with caster sugar and squeeze the juice from half a large orange and cook down over a low heat until the cranberries are cooked. Remember you don’t want them sweet, just not too tart. Allow the cranberry pulp to cool then add the rest of the ingredients (oil, grain mustard, sherry vinegar and tarragon). You will probably need a little more of each of these ingredients given the volume of the cranberries.
Remember, salad dressings are all about the balance of the acidity against the sweetness of the other ingredients and the oil. A good way to taste test is to use a little piece of salad leaf rather than a spoon so you will know how the completed salad will taste.
Don’t forget to visit my other blogs
Easy & Cheap Student Recipes-A great resource if you are a student or just learning how to cook.
Old Blog Posts– A growing archive of posts from my original food blog, which had 20,922,573 page views from its beginning in February 2006 until December 2015.
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