As the shooting season progresses, I admit that
I become a little weary of plain roast pheasant and bread sauce, and instead like to use pheasant in dishes that at other times of year require duck or pork.
I also love to use it in more exotic recipes,
as a reminder of the bird’s Eastern origins, writes Rose Prince
Rose Prince writes: Pheasant meat has a truly interesting flavour, with notes of its foraged diet and corn, which, when the birds are at their plumpest, lends a lovely colour and flavour to their fat. The following recipes are adapted from my new book, Dinner & Party: Gatherings, Suppers, Feasts.
Pheasant, pork and pistachio terrine
I serve this rich and pretty terrine on buttered bread before the stew. It is not complicated to make, being more of a building job really, but its great benefit is that it can be made up to four days in advance and stored wrapped in the fridge. Serves 6-8.
- 30g butter, melted
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 small shallots or 1 large shallot, chopped
- 450g free-range pork mince
- 4 pheasant breast fillets: 2 diced, 2 cut into strips
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 50ml port or red wine
- 1 egg, beaten
- 15g softened butter
- 8-12 slices pancetta
- 40g unsalted pistachio nuts
- 2 bay leaves
- Preheat the oven to 170°C/335°F/ gas mark 3.5. Melt the butter in a pan and add the garlic and shallots. Cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat until soft, allow to cool for a few minutes, then put in a bowl with the pork mince, diced pheasant breast, thyme, port or wine, and seasoning. Leave to marinate for 30 minutes, then mix in the beaten egg.
- Rub the inside of a 20cm x 10cm x 10cm (500g capacity) terrine dish or loaf tin with softened butter, then line it neatly with 8 to 12 pancetta rashers, placing them side by side across the width of the dish. Pack one half of the minced pork mixture into the terrine.
- Lay the breast strips lengthways along the dish, then scatter the pistachio nuts in a line along the length of the terrine dish. Cover with the rest of the mince. Bring the pancetta slices up and over the surface of the terrine and place the bay leaves on top.
- Place the dish in a roasting tin containing 4cm of boiling water and bake for around 1½ hours until the meat shrinks from the side of the terrine dish. Add more water to the dish if it evaporates during the cooking period.
Remove the terrine from the oven, leave it to cool and then chill until needed. Slice with a sharp carving knife. Serve with hot toast, or fresh sourdough or soda bread, with optional cornichons, pickled walnuts or a fruity chutney.