We increasingly look to replace cheap poultry with high quality meat – but the price of quality chicken, no matter how meals are made from it, can still be steep. The shooting season brings us a solution, with Pheasants going for a song – virtually free in the countryside, and just a few pounds per brace in our towns and cities.
If you haven’t had pheasant before, you may be put off by the thought of a strong flavoured meat – and it’s true if they are hung for a long period, then they will have a strong gamey flavour, but hung for just a couple of days they taste like quality chicken, with the added bonus of being a virtually wild meat – foraging naturally.
Pheasant is very low in fat, so if cooked slowly it can tend to be dry (Older pheasants, should also not be roasted as they can be tougher) – instead wrap a young bird in bacon, and roast hot and fast, the bacon lubricating the meat.
If you are unsure, or have an older bird, then pot roast it in cider, Bramley apple slices and roots, studded with smoked bacon pieces and button mushrooms.
A pile of buttery mash, or an Italianate mound of polenta, and Autumn is on your plate.