Wednesday, 9 November 2011

'Mountain' Pheasant with Herbs & Potatoes (Who knew pheasies liked mountain climbing?)

How nice to have a young plump little pheasant to cook, rather than the poor birds I pull out of the freezer, a year after putting them in there, looking a little sorry for themselves thanks to my rather lacking skills in the plucking department. I was at a friend's house and we had wanted to cook dinner, drink wine and generally catch up together. Pheasant was on the menu, hurrah.

This is loosely based on a recipe I found ages ago for Mountain Pheasant, I have no idea what it has to do with mountains, but it's damn tasty. I would say use a nice plump youngen for it as you will roast it rather than casserole the pheasant, as I normally do. This is lovely and simple and is insanely tasty, as often the most simple things are.

Feeds two if using a smallish bird. Pre-heat the oven to 190. Spatchcock the pheasant by placing it breast side down with the tail towards you. Take some sturdy scissors and cut along one side of the back bone, then the other side so the backbone comes away. Turn the bird over and basically flatten by pushing down with your hands so it now has a bit of a 'run-over' appearance. That is spatchcocking. In a casserole/deep dish, mix up a glass of white wine, a couple of peeled potatoes, quartered, two onions, quartered, three cloves of chopped garlic, a lemon, quartered, and a small handful of each of the following: mint, thyme, sage and rosemary, and a big glug of olive oil. Season the bird and rub with a dribble of oil, lay over the veg and roast for about 45 minutes, until the pheasant is cooked and the rest is nicely cooked.

To serve, cut the bird in half using a nice big knife, and serve with all the veg, lemon and juices, and an amazing celariac salad that my friend Hannah wizzed up from her husband's posh French cookery book. Then drink all her Black Stump and wobble off home, happy and content.