pheasant stew

Added by tommy on 21 October 2010
ingredients

Pheasant-road kill, 2 miles
Hazel nuts- foraged poyntzfield burn, under 1 mile
Hogweed-foraged, under 100 yards
Burdock-foraged, under 100 yards
Ground elder-foraged, under 100 yards
Wild chervil-foraged, under 100 yards
Chantarelles-foraged, under 500 yards
Brown birch bolete-foraged, under 100 yards (orange is better but none on the day)
Lycoperdon pyriforme ( a common woodland puffball with no simple name Im aware of)-foraged, under 500 yards
Potatoes-grown, community garden, 9 miles ( but cycled! )
Onion-grown, community garden
Garlic-grown, community garden
Cabbage-grown, poyntzfield, under 1 mile
Runner Beans grown, poyntzfield, under 1 mile
Kale-grown, home
Cooking apples-picked, home
First do an autopsy of your pheasant, the more recent the kill , the more damage its reasonable to put up with. My one was still warm when I found it so although the guts had been a little mangled it was still fresh. It got hit from behind rather than a nice clean knock on the head, but the meat was good and this recipe involves boiling the hell out of it anyway. Its easiest to skin, rather than pluck the bird, then cut all the good meat and fat from the carcass.
Next, shell and crush a few handfuls of hazel nuts and put them in a pan with some fat from the pheasant, warm them on a low heat and then add the onion, chopped finely, theres enough oil in the nuts and fat to fry the onion.
When the onion looks done, chuck in the pheasant carcass with along with the burdock root, hogweed stems, ground elder stems and wild chervil. This is the perfect time to dig burdock but a bit late for the rest, places that have been strimmed or mown tend to have a second flush, hogweed sometimes even flowers again. Alter the quantities to taste but the aim is to get a really earthy, herby, gamey stock. Add enough boiling water to cover and simmer.
While waiting for the stock take more crushed hazel nuts, fry an onion with them as before and add in the pheasant meat, chopped into lumps, fat left on. When the stock is ready add with the potatoes, mushrooms, cabbage and kale into the pot. Simmer until the potatoes are softening, add in 2 diced cooking apples and the runner beans, simmer until they are soft and your done. 100% local, organic and free. Also, pheasant are fat right now, easily as much meat as a chicken, well worth picking up.

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