A rich Catalan sauce complements the flavour of pheasant beautifully. This simple recipe is ready in just 15 minutes and serves four.
I was on a Gun bus the other day and we were discussing pheasant recipes when someone said to me, but what do you do if you are in a rush?
I’m well practised in this area as I frequently find myself wondering what I can cook very quickly at home. I do not usually spend a long time putting hours of effort into my dishes on school nights; I simply tend to grab a few lovely looking things and kind of throw them together.
We have a high demand for pheasant meat in our house. I am often asked by my children when they can next have some and their favourite way to eat pheasant is simply dipped in breadcrumbs, fried in a little garlic butter and served with a few spuds and some peas from the freezer.
But what about the grown-ups? I have never been one to feed my children as if they are from another species but I do take into account things such as salt and spice and familiarity when cooking for them, so how about a grown-up version?
15 minute pheasant recipe
There is nothing wrong with a few breadcrumbs but I quite like to eat my butterflied pheasant breasts without it — and this particular way of doing so includes a bread sauce for pheasant from Catalonia that might raise the odd eyebrow at the supper table. But it is simple to make and truly delicious with pheasant, partridge or pretty much any game bird for that matter.
With this 15 minute pheasant recipe you can have a simple supper on the table quickly and easily. All you then have to do is add a bowl of greens and you’ve nailed it.
- 4 Pheasant breasts
- Salt and pepper
- A little fresh thyme
For the Romesco-Catalan tomato, bread and nut sauce
- 3 cloves of garlic
- A few fennel and coriander seeds
- 3 large tomatoes
- 1 slice stale sourdough bread
- 50g almonds
- 50g hazelnuts
- 10g smoked paprika
- 100ml good olive oil
- A pinch of chilli flakes
1. For the sauce, roast the tomatoes, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and garlic in the oven with a little of the oil. After a few minutes, add the bread to the roasting tray to crisp up and soak up any oil.
2 .Throw everything bar the oil into a blender and blend on pulse, adding oil to make a thick paste. Adjust the seasoning and leave to stand for at least 15 minutes before using.
3. Place a good frying pan on a moderate heat to get hot enough
to sear the meat.
4. Add a good knob of butter to the pan and place the butterflied pheasant portions in the pan. Cook on the first side until you see that the flesh has changed colour almost half the way though. Flip the pheasant butterflies over at this point and cook for a little longer on the other side. Turn off the heat when they are nearly cooked and squeeze a little lemon juice over them.
5. Serve with the sauce spooned on the top, some of the juices from the pan and either some greens or some dressed watercress. Enjoy!
How to butterfly a pheasant breast
Place the pheasant breast on the chopping board in front of you, inside facing up and thick end at the top. Using a sharp knife, cut into it about halfway and keep cutting until you have almost cut all the way through. Extend this slice all the way to the bottom of the pointy end, open the breast out. Season with salt and pepper and a few thyme leaves.