Saturday, 5 February 2011

Brace Yourself

Last week I was given a brace of pheasants from a friend.  After hanging them for 7 days they were ready to cook. Plucking and gutting a pheasant certainly isn't my favourite past time, but the reward is worth it. I use a technique where I chop the wings, feet and head off with a meat cleaver, then rip the skin and feathers off in one fowl swoop. The next stage is the really dirty bit, the guts. Cut a hole just above the tail, shove your hand in and rip the shit out of it. Oh, if you can, do this outside, the smell is quite rotten. I washed the meat in a sink to remove any feathers and congealed blood. Lovely.

After going through plucking hell, I decided to try a new cooking method where I slowly cooked the pheasants in duck fat overnight. Pheasant meat can be rather dry, but the pheasant fat is grotesque, so I prefer to remove it. That's why I'm using duck fat as a replacement. I suppose my new method is a form of Pheasant Confit.

After the slow cooking I then picked the meat off the bones and made a stew with nearly a whole botty red and with game style jacket potatoes (this idea was stolen from Joy the Baker).

With the opening game of the Six Nations starting, what could be better than a few mates coming over to watch the match and scoffing a massive bowl of hearty Pheasant Stew? 

England slaughtered the Welsh, so the stew tasted even more scrumptious.

For some hilarious reading on pheasant cookery, try this - Countryman's Cookery

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