This is a great time of year for game. It’s healthy, lean meat and, if you are lucky, might arrive on your doorstep for free if you have a friendly farmer or shooter who might drop off a brace of pheasants or a couple of rabbits. This dish is warming and hearty and utterly delicious. You can use pheasant, or pretty much any game, although rabbit is especially good, so give it a go.
You will need:
8 pheasant legs
25g salted butter
2 large onions finely diced
3 cloves of garlic
2 sprigs fresh marjoram
2 sprigs thyme
50g button mushrooms
150g smoked bacon
250ml good quality chicken stock
175ml double cream
175ml white wine
2 tablespoons English mustard
Plain flour for dusting
- Dust the pheasant legs with flour, shaking off any excess. Get a saucepan good and hot, add the butter and brown off the legs and, when golden brown, remove from the pan.
- Add in the onions, bacon, mushrooms, garlic and herbs and sweat these off.
- Add the pheasant legs back to the pan and add the chicken stock. There should be enough to cover all the meat and vegetables.
- Cook on a low heat, or in the oven at around 160ºc for about 50 minutes to an hour. The meat should be nice and tender.
- Pour the contents of the pan into a colander over a bowl. Put the drained liquid from the bowl back into the saucepan, add the wine and turn up the heat, reducing the stock by half.
- While the stock is reducing, pick away the meat from the bone – taking care to remove the tiny bones and cartilage in the thigh of the pheasant, set aside with the bacon and vegetables.
- Now add the double cream to the stock and whisk in the mustard, then add in the meat and vegetables too. Adjust the seasoning, simmer for five minutes, and serve.