Oct 31 2005

Normandy Pheasant

Normandy Pheasant


This, without doubt, is one of my favourite pheasant recipes and is ideal for oven ready birds which have been commercially prepared. Pheasant like beef is better if it has been properly hung. If it is not it is inclined to be dry and dull when roasted. Apples and Calvados prevent the meat becoming dry and compliment the flavour wonderfully.

Brown a brace of pheasants in melted butter in a heavy frying pan then set aside on a plate. Melt more butter in the pan and fry a kilo of peeled and chopped apples till golden. A sweet apple is best such as Cox or reinette.. Choose a casserole that will snugly take the two birds. Put them breast-side-down on a thick layer of  the apple. Pack the remaining apples all round the pheasants. Pour on 125ml of crème fraiche. Cook gently for about an hour at gas 4 or 180c checking after forty minutes or so. After an hour take them from the oven, raise the heat to 8 or 230c and pour over more crème fraiche with 4 tablespoons of Calvados. Return to the oven for five minutes. Leave to rest before serving. As with all meat resting for a while will make it easier to carve.

There are a myriad of pot roast recipes for pheasant.

Sometimes I add celery or celeriac and smoked bacon or pancetta. I may add cabbage or mushrooms, carrots, onions, truffles, red wine, Madeira or cider. A young bird may be spatchcocked, spread generously with butter and olive oil and grilled slowly till the flesh is firm and cooked through but still pink. In fact pheasant is a most accommodating game for experimentation.


2 responses so far