Twitter followers may remember me being rather excited last week about getting given a pheasant. This means that I owe you all a cookery post. Here it is.
First up, a pheasant is surprisingly easy to prepare. You don’t need to pluck it. With something like a turkey or a goose plucking is essential because you want to keep all of the subcutaneous fat for when you roast the bird. But a pheasant is a much leaner creature and you don’t lose much by taking the skin off, and all of those pesky feathers with it. There are plenty of videos on YouTube showing how to do it. The only thing I failed on was getting the leg tendons out, which isn’t that important but does require a pair of pliers. Must buy some for next time.
Because a pheasant doesn’t come with its own fat you need to provide some if you are going to roast it. That usually means wrapping it in bacon. Alternatively you can casserole it, which is what I did. The recipe I used is here, and it shouldn’t surprise any of you to learn that it involves chorizo and cream. Browning your meat in the fat left from frying chorizo is a brilliant idea, which I will use in making my pork & chorizo chili from now on.
Of course I’m much too stupid to just follow a recipe. I don’t do many casseroles because I dislike using a big oven. I could have put the bird in the slow cooker, but I decided to try doing a casserole in the halogen oven instead. They tend to cook more quickly, so I reduced the time from 45 minutes to 30 minutes, and that appeared to be about right. Over Winterval I will get to try roasting in the halogen oven, which will be interesting.
Talking of which, I see that Sainsbury’s is offering a four-bird roast: goose, turkey, duck and guinea fowl. Unfortunately it is £80 and serves 14, so I’m not going to be buying one unless I win a lottery between now and then, and can manage to buy a house with a big enough oven and dining room in it in time.