Monday, 31 October 2011

Roasted Paprika Pheasant and Mixed Vegetables

There is a lot of things I haven't tried before, and one of them is pheasant. I saw lots of recipes out there, really attractive and kept my saliva going, but we always ended up buying meat we are used to - chicken, pork, beef and seafood.

I do think that the best way to try new things is to be given it to try. That's why I love buying new food we've discovered for my family to try, to introduce them to something yummy that they normally wouldn't buy themselves. So I really appreciate that Game-to-eat campaign (which I've mentioned before in my venison post) offered me a chance to try pheasant supplied by Yorkshire Game.

It's just like pigeon, only bigger! I quite like it, though I do think it has a bit too much tendons in the legs. Abby loves it too ( we gave her breast and thigh meat only) but we had to tell her it was chicken as she didn't want to eat a 'bird' hehe.

I found a basic recipe for Roast Pheasant here, which teaches how to prep the pheasant and generally how to cook it. So I got to get creative with the seasoning and had a very tasty dinner tonight.

(Serves 2 and a child)


For the brine to soak the pheasant (a must to prevent having a dry pheasant)

1 Pheasant
4cups Water
1/4cups Salt
1Tbsp Sugar
5 Bay Leaves, crushed
1Tbsp Juniper Berries, crushed 

1. Boil all the ingredients except the pheasant, then leave to cool in room temperature.
2. Submerge the pheasant in the brine and soak for 4-8 hours.
3. Remove the pheasant, drain and pat dry completely.
4. Place in the fridge with the breast side up on a plate, uncovered, overnight to rest.

- I used double the amount of the above ingredients to make the brine to soak 1 pheasant
- I only soaked for 3 hours as I didn't have enough time (taste still came through after cooking, just right for us too)
- I rested the pheasant in the fridge for less than an hour as I didn't have time

For the Roasted Vegetables

1 Courgette, chopped into chunks
2 medium Carrots, chopped
1 Onion, cut into wedges
2 Potatoes, sliced (less than 1cm thickness)
2 medium Sweet Potatoes, chopped into wedges
6-7 large Mushrooms, quartered
4cloves Garlic, skinned and crushed
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Parsley (Fresh or Dried)

- Toss everything together in a roasting tin and set aside

For the Pheasant:

2dollops Butter
2tsp Salt
2tsp Paprika
1 Onion, skinned
6cloves Garlic, white paper removed

Preheat Oven to 200 C to 260 C (Max really) for 15 to 30 mins max

1. Mix butter, salt and paprika into a paste
2. Smear it all over the prepped pheasant
3. Stuff the pheasant with any left over butter paste, together with the onion and garlic
4. Put it in the oven for 15 mins

For the Glaze

1Tbsp Butter
2Tbsp Syrup (Recipe suggested Maple, I only have honey)

- Melt butter and syrup together

5. Remove the pheasant out from the oven and turn the oven down to 160 C
6. Baste the pheasant with the glaze and sprinkle the breast with some parsley
7. Roast the pheasant for another 40-45mins until inner temperature is 70 C, or until the juice run clear when you poke at a leg
8. At the same time roast the mixed vegetables for 45mins
9. Remove the pheasant and cover with foil for 15mins (resting)
10. Remove the vegetables as well, but keep warm

For the Gravy

Left over stock from pheasant, remove as much fat as possible
Boiled Water
2Tbsp Corn Starch
4Tbsp Cold Water

- Boil the stock and water (adjust bit by bit until the flavour is right)
- Mix corn starch and cold water together until dissolved
- While stock is boiling, pour the corn starch water into the stock and stir continuously until thickened
The pheasant I've cooked had a well done breast and rare legs. I ended up using my beloved microwave to Ding the legs for a minute to get them right. The gravy makes up for the dried up breasts which lead to Abby and hubby thinking that they were juicy ;)
Still have a pack of pheasant breasts to try, but I'll post this recipe up first x

Disclosure: I was given a pheasant and pheasant breasts to try; all opinion are honest and my own