As the days get colder we yearn for heartier dishes and what could be more suitable than the richness of flavour provided by game. We are lucky in Shropshire to have a supply literally on our doorstep – if you’re a little squeamish preparing the birds from scratch -then ask your butcher.
Enjoy with a hearty glass of Rioja or two…
- 4 Pheasant Breasts (check with your butcher they have been well-hung as this will help to keep them tender)
- 4 slices Air-dried Ham
- 1 pt. Dry Cider
- 2 rashers Smoked Bacon or Lardons
- 4 to 6 Shallots, thinly sliced
- 1oz Butter
- 1oz Plain Flour
- ½oz Sugar
- 1 Sweet Apple, sliced
- ¼pt Double Cream
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Seasoning to taste
Wrap the pheasant breasts in the air-dried ham.
Brown quickly on both sides in a hot pan with a knob of butter and a dash of the olive oil.
Remove the pan from the heat and place the pheasant breast in an ovenproof dish. Place in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 6/200˚C for no more than 20 minutes.
Using the same frying pan, add the cider, bring to the boil and reduce by half. After 5 minutes pour the hot cider over the pheasant breasts and cover the dish with a lid.
Return to the oven (reduce the temperature toGas Mark 6/160-170˚C) for a further 20 minutes.
When cooked take out and let rest in a warm place.
Meanwhile gently sauté the shallots and bacon lardons ina frying pan, in the remaining butter, for a few minutes.
Add the sliced apple and the sugar. Turn up the heat until the apple has browned slightly, add the flour and stir.Add the cooking liquor from the resting pheasant breasts and stir in the cream.
Heat for 5 minutes and add seasoning to taste.
This dish is lovely served with Creamy Mash Potatoes with sliced Spring Onions and Buttered Curly Kale.
Chef’s Tip: Try not to overcook the Pheasant Breasts as they will become dry and tough. You could also substitute the Pheasant for Chicken breast if you prefer.