Tag: Pheasant

Pheasant Breast in a creamy parmesan sauce

Pheasant Breast in a creamy parmesan sauce

We have been slowly trying to clear things from the freezer and came across some frozen pheasant breasts.  A little out of season for the UK, but that doesn’t take away from the beauty of the produce or its free range pedigree!  Hunting round for a different way to prepare pheasant breasts we came across a recipe from “Wild and Game” in the UK.  The was for pheasant breast served with pasta – not something I wanted to do, but I did like the look of the sauce.

As a sauce (without the pheasant) I could imaging it would work tossed through pasta.  Here it serves as a vegetable, a sauce and also as a poaching liquid for the pheasant.  The other nice thing is that you can partially pre-make the sauce and bring it together with the pheasant at the last moment.

This was all cooked on the EGG set up for direct cooking.   It would also work well in a domestic kitchen on the hob too.  We used our Tefal Ingenio pans as they work so well on the EGG.  Once the temperature had stabilised out at around 180C the sauté pan was heated and the lardon/pancetta pieces were added and cooked until they took on some colour.  At this point the chopped onion was added and cooked till translucent. This was followed by the mushrooms which were cooked for another 5 minutes or so until softening.  The chopped garlic was then added and cooked through for a further minute or so.  That is the majority of the work completed.

The wine is then added to the pan.  This adds its own character to the sauce and also deglazes the pan.  This was cooked through for a few minutes to cook off all the alcohol and to reduce the volume a little.  At this point the 200ml of chicken stock was added (This was a concentrated mix made from one whole commercial stock pot added to  200 ml of water). Finally, a large handful of frozen peas were tossed in and cooked for 2-3 minutes before taking the pan off the heat.   If you are going on to cook the Pheasant straight away,once off the heat stir in  the creme fraiche and the parmesan and keep the pan warm.  If you are delaying cooking the Pheasant breasts then add the creme fraiche and parmesan after putting the pan back on the heat  and bringing the temperature up a little.

The Pheasant breasts were cooked in a separate pan in a mixture of butter and olive oil and a stalk of rosemary until they took on a good colour.  Their core temperature at this point was around 56-58C. The air vents were closed on the EGG and the remaining cooking was done with the residual heat. Pheasant breasts have a tendency to be a little dry even when cooked on the BGE if cooked at too high a temperature. Because of this we always aim to serve them a little pink.  The breasts were sat on the finished cream sauce and the 2 were cooked together in the BGE for 5 minutes or so till their core temperature approached 63-64C (American sites tend to suggest a finished temperature for any fowl as 74C but these have been at or above 60C for more than 12 minutes and so we are very comfortable with them being lower – see here for the explanation)

They were served simply with tray roasted root vegetables – these were also cooked on the MiniMax.  It may have been easier to cook this on the large BGE but we cooked all this on the  MiniMax simply to see if we could!  The vegetables were sautéed in a separate Tefal pan.  They were started off first in a separate pan and taken to the point when nearly cooked.  The pan was set to one side and kept warm.  The sauce was then made, up to the point of adding the Creme Fraiche and the parmesan.  This was also put to one side and kept warm whilst the pheasant breasts were sautéed in a 3rd pan.  The cream and the parmesan was stirred through the sauce which was gently warmed and the  pheasant breasts were put on top of the sauce.  The combination was cooked on the MiniMax for a few minutes.  This was set to one side, letting the pheasant rest whilst the vegetables were put back on the heat to finish off.

If you cook this on a larger Egg, then you can do it without all the pan swapping – but where is the fun in that!!?

All that was left to do was to plate up ……………….

…………… do give it a go!!

Footnote:

  • If you don’t fancy or can’t get hold of pheasant breasts – this works really well with chicken!
  • No pheasant or chicken breast?  The sauce works as a great pasta sauce by itself, just stir though some cooked pasta! – see here

 

Pheasant breast in creamy parmesan sauce

June 11, 2021
: 2
: 30 min
: 1 hr
: 1 hr 30 min
: Moderate

Delightfully cooked pheasant breast in a wonderfully opulent rustic sauce!

By:

Ingredients
  • 2 Pheasant breasts
  • Small onion finely diced
  • 1 large garlic clove finely chopped
  • 150g mushrooms, stalks removed, sliced
  • 100g for lardon/pancetta/bacon
  • 50g of grated Parmesan
  • A handful of peas
  • 50g butter
  • A good glug of olive oil
  • 2 handfuls fresh parsley, chopped
  • Glass of white wine
  • 200ml strong chicken stock (1 stockpot in 200ml water)
  • 4 tbsp creme fraiche
Directions
  • Step 1 Set up the Big Green Egg for direct cooking at around 180C (can also be done on the hob in a kitchen. Heat the sauté pan and cook the lardon/pancetta pieces until they take on some colour.  Add the chopped onion and cook till translucent.
  • Step 2 Add the mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes or so until softening.  Add the chopped garlic and cook for a further minute or so then add the wine to the pan to deglaze.  Cook for a few minutes to drive off the alcohol and to reduce the volume a little.  Add the stock and the peas – cook for a further 3 minutes then remove from the heat
  • Step 3 If you are going on to cook the Pheasant straight away then once off the heat stir in the creme fraiche and the parmesan and keep the pan warm.  If you are delaying cooking the pheasant breasts then add the creme fraiche and parmesan after putting the pan back on the heat  and bringing the temperature up a little when you are ready to finish off.
  • Step 4 In a separate pan sauté the Pheasant breasts in a butter and oil mix with a sprig of fresh rosemary. Once they have taken on a good colour and their core temperature is around 56-58C close the air vents on the EGG and do the remaining cooking with the residual heat. Sit the breasts into the finished cream sauce and cook the whole ensemble together in the BGE for 5 minutes or so till their core temperature approaches 63-64C
  • Step 5 Serve simply with tray roasted root vegetables
Pheasant and Chestnut Terrine – not just for Christmas

Pheasant and Chestnut Terrine – not just for Christmas

I do wonder why we tend to reserve so many lovely things for Christmas eating when they are so good for other times too!  Whilst this one was chosen as our Christmas terrine it would work really well throughout the whole of the ‘game season’ from November to the end of January when pheasant is so plentiful!  That would give you really seasonal eating. As all the ingredients can be frozen you can of course extend this to other parts of the year too.

We have made this previously using both fresh pheasant and also using ‘confit pheasant’ that we had made earlier.  On balance I think the latter is preferable but not strictly necessary (confit pheasant is very easy to do – and confit duck can be purchased and is a really good substitute too).  We were using chestnuts and pancetta that we brought back from Italy, but these are easily available from most supermarkets in the UK.

We were going to use this terrine directly on the table and slice from there and so we wanted to decorate it a little.  Before adding the strips of pancetta we put 3 bay leaves into the base of the terrine and then placed the pancetta over these in the normal way to hold them in place.

When turning the terrine out this would leave the bay leaves as decoration on top of the pancetta as you can see in the picture.  All that was left to do once put on the serving board was to place 3 juniper berries in the centre of the bay leaves to finish off the decoration.

The terrine was built up in stages, so after lining the dish with pancetta the meat mix (see below for step by step details) was packed in, taking care to exclude any air pockets.   When half full the reserved pheasant breasts were sliced and arranged over the mix.  This was followed by the remainder of the chestnuts.  This way they would provide a distinctive layer.

The terrine was then filled with the remainder of the mix.  It is worth taking care to ensure that the mix is packed in well to the chestnut layer so that there are no air pockets or the terrine is likely to crumble when trying to cut it.

Finally the pancetta was folded over the domed mix to finish off the preparation.  The top was covered with some lightly oiled foil and the lid was popped back in place. The cooking can be done either in the BGE as we did or in a domestic oven.  Either way the terrine needs to be placed in some form of Bain Marie to make sure the terrine cooks gently and evenly.  The cooking time was around 2 hours at 120C.

During the cooking it is worth draining off any excess juices or this will just end up in the water of the Bain Marie. To check that the cooking is complete, ensure that the juices run clear when pierced with a skewer but more accurately, check with a thermometer probe that the centre has reached at least 65-70°C.  The terrine will feel quite firm.  Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. At his point tip out any more liquid, cover with cling film, then place a piece of cardboard covered in aluminium foil on top (cut so it fits the inside of the terrine) and rest some weight on top of this.  Allow to cool overnight in the fridge.

In the morning carefully release the terrine from it’s dish.  This can often be done by running a knife  around the terrine keeping it close to the dish.  If using a big terrine, as in this case, that may not be enough.  The best way to release it is then to stand the cool terrine in some warm water just for a couple of minutes to slightly soften the jelly that surrounds the pancetta.  The pheasant and chestnut terrine was tipped out and wrapped in clingfilm and put straight back into the terrine dish once it was washed and cleaned.  Putting it back into the terrine preserves the shape and the cling film allows for easy and reliable release from the dish itself.

When ready to serve, all that was left to do was to dress it with the 3 additional juniper berries and a little holly as an appropriate winter decoration. Then give it pride of place on the table!

Footnote:- there are so many potential variations to this terrine whilst keeping the ‘game theme’ – one we have really enjoyed is a mix of confit duck and pheasant – but try your own combinations and let me know how they workout!

Pheasant and Chestnut Terrine

January 3, 2020
: 6
: 1 hr 30 min
: 2 hr
: 3 hr 30 min
: Moderate

Pheasant and Chestnut Terrine - a perfect autumn and winter dish - not just for Christmas

By:

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 750g Pork Mince
  • Small handful of chopped Pancetta
  • 4 chicken livers
  • 2 Pheasant breasts and 2 pheasant legs
  • Handful of sausage making rusk or breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp of aromatic Gin
  • 1 tbsp of Port
  • Freshly chopped Thyme
  • Freshly chopped Rosemary
  • Freshly chopped Oregano
  • Some fennel seeds or fennel fronds
  • 12 crushed Juniper berries
  • 6 crushed cloves
  • 1½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Large handful of cooked chestnuts
  • 20 slices of pancetta
Directions
  • Step 1 Heat the oil in a pan and gently soften the onion for around 10 mins – cool
  • Step 2 Reserve the 2 pheasant breasts, half the chestnuts and the 20 pancetta strips
  • Step 3 Finely chop the liver and chop the meat from the pheasant legs being careful to exclude the bony tendons from the drumsticks.  Mix all the other ingredients except those being reserved.  Once all mixed together it is a good time to test the seasoning.  To do this, fry a little piece of the mix in a pan, then taste and adjust as necessary.
  • Step 4 If cooking in the BGE, set up for indirect cooking at around 120C.  A domestic oven can be used in the same way.
  • Step 5 Set 3 bay leaves in the base of the terrine and then line the terrine with the pancetta slices overlapping each slice as you go. Leave the ends hanging over the sides. Fill with the mixture, making sure it gets into the corners.  When half full add a layer of sliced pheasant breasts and the other half of the chestnuts.  Add the rest of the terrine mix, pushing it well into the pheasant and chestnut layer (it will dome slightly above the terrine).
  • Step 6 Bring the pancetta up to cover the filling. Cover the dish with lightly oiled foil and add the lid if available. Place the terrine in some form of Bain Marie to make sure the terrine cooks gently and evenly. Bake for around 2 hrs at 120C, drain any excess juices and return to the oven for a further 15 minutes. The terrine should be firm, the juices should run clear when pierced with a skewer.  A thermometer probe inserted into the centre should reach at least 65-70°C.
  • Step 7 Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes. Tip out any more liquid, cover with cling film, then place a piece of cardboard covered in aluminium foil on top (cut so it fits the inside of the terrine) and rest some weight on top of this. Allow to cool overnight in the fridge
  • Step 8 Slice thickly and serve with your preferred accompaniment