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!!
- 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
Delightfully cooked pheasant breast in a wonderfully opulent rustic sauce!
- 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
- 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