The other day I was given a pheasant by a friend. Most of you will think, what a great gift. I would too, if the pheasant wasn’t still fully feathered and attached to a dog!
The lovely tempered retriever was wagging its tail madly and looking up at its very aggitated owner who, with hands stretched out to me, shouted, ‘Do something! I can’t touch it! – She wont drop it!’ I know my friend hates anything that isn’t ‘normal’ meat, like beef or chicken. And that has to be cooked and on the plate.
Without too much drama I eased the bird from the dogs mouth and holding it by it’s feet, looked at the beautiful cock pheasant almost completely undamaged. (It must have died of fright.) I strung it up, in the garden shed to mature.
I’ve often bought pheasant from the local butcher but having to prepare the whole thing from scratch, was a new experience. After five days of hanging, I had to pluck the bird and if that wasn’t real enough, then I had to gut it. Whoah, the smell! One of the Glam Teens assured me it was just the smell of the stomach, how does he know? It was almost enough to put me off completely. But not quite.
Usually I pot roast pheasant for a couple of hours with ricotta and sage stuffing but I wanted to try something new. I boned the bird, leaving the legs and then stuffed it with wild boar sausage meat and black pudding.
The boning was less complicated than I’d thought it would be and makes carving and serving much easier.
Boned Stuffed Pheasant
- 1 boned pheasant with wings off and legs on (check link for video to bone the pheasant)
- 2 wild boar sausages, squeezed from their skins. Or very good quality pork sausages
- 2 thin slices of black pudding
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4-6 sage leaves depending on size. If very large tear them in half
- salt and pepper
- 7 rashers of pancetta or streaky unsmoked bacon
- 150 mls red wine
- 2 carrots peeled and halved; 1 stick of celelry; 4 shallots halved; 40 grammes of butter for basting
- set oven to 160
- Lay the bird out flat on a sheet greaseproof paper, skin side down
- Put one sage leaves evenly spaced on the flesh not forgetting the thighs
- Place the two slices of blackpudding down the centre of the bird
- In a bowl mix the sausage meat and the garlic to combine evenly
- Make a rough roll shape out of the sausage meat and place on top of the black pudding
- Using the paper to help you, if necessary, roll the sides of the bird towards the centre, overlapping the skin and turn the over
- Tie around the body with cooks twine, looping around the ends of the legs to keep them in place
- Cover with the pancetta or bacon and leave to one side
- Place the carrots, celery and shallots in a roasting dish to form a trivet for the pheasant to sit on
- Top the vegetables with the butter and season
- Place the pheasant in the dish and put into the oven for 40 minutes
- After 40 minutes Baste with the juices in the pan and pour in the red wine
- Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and cook for a further 40 minutes
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 20 minutes before carving into thin slices