I was having a look through the freezer and noticed that I still had a couple of braces of pheasant in there. The season for pheasant ended on the 1st of February, but as it’s still wintery out, it’s nice to have another taste of game even when it’s out of season.
I love to roast game birds or pan fry their breasts for starters or salads, but as these have been frozen I thought poaching them would be best.
Poaching the birds will keep the meat moist, and leave you with a delicious stock you can use to make soups, or just in the gravy for Sunday roast.
This paté is similar to a French country paté just with the pheasant running through it. It is all cooked in a terrine, but a loaf tin would work just as well. This can be made a few days before you want it, and is as easy to serve as slicing bread.
So come on, get your game on!
To poach the pheasant
2 sticks of celery
1 tsp pepper corns
1 handful parsley stalks
For the paté
1 poached pheasant
500g pork mince
250g chicken livers
4 cloves of garlic
2g black pepper
1 tsp rosemary, chopped
250g streaky bacon
Start by poaching the pheasant. Put the bird in a pan with the other ingredients, and cover with water. Bring to the simmer then turn down and poach for 40 minutes.
Now lift the bird out, and when cool enough to handle strip all the flesh from the bones. The poaching liqueur can be strained and reserved for another use. Do not pour it down the sink as it’s very tasty!
Pre-heat the oven to 170°c
Now for the paté – into a food processor put the livers, butter, shallot, garlic, egg, salt and pepper. Now whizz it all up til smooth. Scrape out into a mixing bowl then add the pork mince, port, rosemary and pheasant, and mix it all together.
Take the terrine and line it with rashers of the streaky bacon. These need to overhang both sides as when filled they need to fold over the top.
Next, pour in the paté mix and fold the bacon over. Cover with a greased piece of kitchen foil and then the terrine lid (if you have one).
Place the terrine in a roasting tin on top of a folded tea towel, then pour a kettle of boiling water in until it comes to half-way up the terrine.
Put the tin in the oven for 2 ½ hours, then remove and allow to cool down in the terrine. Refrigerate in the terrine overnight then it can be turned out and enjoyed – it’s extra good with our Perfect Picallili and a green salad.
Over the last few weeks we have had some unseasonably warm weather, making me think that spring has finally sprung. The daffodils are out, the lambs are leaping, and the chicks are chirping.
What could be more fitting for an Easter breakfast than eggs? I love a full English, but you need to save room for your roast spring lamb for lunch – and not forgetting all the chocolate that needs to be eaten.
These Eggs en Concotte are just warm and filling enough to get you through to lunch, with a nice spring walk and a chocolate egg in-between.
We’ve decided to use hollowed out rolls for our en Concotte, as opposed to the traditional method of using a ramekin, baked in the oven in a bain-marie – the beauty of this, firstly, less washing up, secondly, when you cut them open, the hot, runny yolk runs out over the salty bacon and onto the crusty roll – a delicious fork-full of eggs and bacon on toast!
Phil, is that you in there?
Eggs en Cocotte
4 bread rolls
100g bacon lardons
50ml double cream
1Tbsp chives, chopped
Pre heat the oven to 200’c.
Sauté the bacon for a few minutes until crisp, then place on kitchen paper to drain the fat off.
Cut the lids off the rolls, and scoop out the filling – making a deeper indent in the centre so the eggs sit in the middle.
Scatter ½ of the bacon and chives into the bottom of the rolls.
Crack the eggs into the indents.
Pour the cream over the eggs.
Scatter the remaining bacon and chives over the eggs.
Bake in the oven for about 10 minutes until the egg whites are set.
We like to use the lids from the rolls to dip into the yolk – we think you’ll agree that these are just eggcellent!
That time of year is coming up again, and if you don’t get it right I can guarantee that you will not have a romantic evening. You can always book a table at a restaurant (if you can get a table anywhere good), and even if you do get a table, the usual overpriced heart shaped and pink things to eat can be a bit of a disappointment.
A home cooked meal shows a lot more thought, effort and care than booking a table and a taxi. At home you can put a CD on you that both like, light the candles, and set the mood without the waiting staff looking on. I should be careful what I say here – I might be doing myself out of a job as a chef – but everyone tries to book for this one night.
Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to bring you some ideas for a three-course dinner. Each course will consist of one dish that can be shared, which sounds very romantic as long as you or your partner is good at sharing! I think the dishes are a bit retro and fun, as well as being damned tasty.
I thought we would start with the starter. I don’t know why, but it seemed a good idea. Cheese fondue is a 70’s dinner party classic, but who does not like things dipped into melted cheese? You don’t need a fondue set to make this or even the long forks, as using asparagus wrapped in bread or Parma ham means you can eat everything with your fingers, and makes feeding a tasty morsel to your partner less likely to result in being stabbed in the face with a few fork tines. (The Photographer can be vicious when she’s asked to share).
You can use any cheese you want for this really, so it’s a great dish to use up the bits and bobs in the fridge.
425g cheese, rinds removed and at room temperature
2tsp corn flour
175ml dry cider
12 spears of asparagus
6 slices Parma ham
6 slices white bread
Trim the asparagus, removing the woody stalk. Wrap the ham round half the spears and place on a baking sheet.
Remove the crusts from the bread, and using a rolling pin roll the slices out as thin as possible. If you have a pasta machine this does the job even better. Wrap the bread round the remaining asparagus and place on the baking sheet. Drizzle the bread with olive oil and put the tray in the oven at 200’c for about 12 minutes or until the asparagus is cooked and the ham and bread crisp.
While the asparagus is cooking, start the fondue.
Chop the cheese into small pieces, and mix in the corn flour. Pour the cider into a pan and bring up to the simmer. Remove from the heat and tip in 1/3 of the cheese. Using a wooden spoon mix in a zig-zag motion until the cheese has melted in.
Place the pan back over a low heat. Keep adding more cheese bit by bit to the cider, stirring all the time. It will take about 10 minutes to incorporate all the cheese in to a nice smooth mix.
To serve, pour the cheese into a serving dish and arrange the asparagus around.