I am a keen cook though I rarely follow recipes, instead I just look at the ingredients and then see what happens. It’s my preferred way of preparing food and I find it is much easier to have an ingredient list and then cook things my own way.
I mentioned this to Honor at Wellington Farm Shop and said I would love to share some of my “creative” recipes using ingredients from the farm shop on the blog. Honor very kindly agreed and so after poring through recipe books I found a few recipes for pheasant that I thought I could incorporate into one easy to do recipe. I sent Honor an email with an ingredients list of Butter, 2 x pheasants, 100g bacon (rashers, recipe calls for lardons but I will rebel!), Eating apples x 2, 500ml cider, Savoy cabbage, Potatoes, Carrots, Parsnips and went along to pick it up last week. I always have leeks, milk, butter, garlic and cheese as well as plenty of herbs so my ingredients was complete!
When I got home I washed my hands, put on the oven and set about creating a wholesome and tasty meal with no cook book open, by the way my timings are very rough and casual!
In a frying pan (I have a Netherton Foundry frying pan, you can get a 5% discount by using Peacock at the checkout) throw in leeks, bacon rashers, 1 thinly sliced carrot and 2 apples and leave them to bubble away gently filling the kitchen with a gorgeous smell, then transfer them to a covered casserole dish (mine is from The Foodie Bugle) and put the pheasants on top, pour on the cider and put into the oven.
Whilst the pheasant is roasting peel the potatoes and very thinly slice them for the Gratin, when they are all sliced rinse thoroughly under cold water and pat them dry with a clean tea towel (I remember this instruction from a recipe book!). Then smear butter all over the inside of a low dish (if you feel like it you could smear garlic butter, the beauty of not following a recipe is you can add or take away whatever takes your fancy) and put the potatoes in covering them with a mixture of milk or half milk/half stock and cheese (if you fancy), with a dob of butter on top. Pop it in at the bottom of the oven.
Slice the the carrots and parnsips and put them in a pan of boiling water, for about 10 minutes, drain and cover the carrots in oil before putting in a preheated roasting dish. Sprinkle seasoned flour (flour with salt, pepper and dried mixed herbs) onto the parsnips and put them in a roasting dish with heated chilli oil and put in the oven.
By this time your kitchen will be full of a rich gamey smell from the oven, take a look at the pheasants in the casserole dish and when the meat begins to fall away from the bone take the pheasants out and strip the meat off and return it to the juice.
Slice the cabbage thinly and put it into a saucepan of boiling water, cook for as long as you would normally (I like my cabbage with a bit of a crunch so I just tend to introduce the cabbage to the water, scare it for a while and then drain it!).
By now everything is cooked and ready to serve!
I got a cookie cutter and made a round of gratin with some cabbage on top (with a few cheeky peas).
So there you go, a very easy pheasant casserole that is both tasty and nutritious with the ingredients coming in for under £20 which for a family of 5 is really good value.
Thank you Honor for my brown paper carrier bag of delicious ingredients, looking forward to next month!