Try something different: Game Christmas recipe
PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 December 2016 | UPDATED: 12:30 19 December 2016
image copyright © guy harrop
For an alternative Christmas dish, why not opt for some game? Tim Maddams has a couple of suggestions which may just tempt even those die hard turkey fans
Pheasant, 1 whole, plucked and dressed
Pork or goose/duck fat,
Salt and pepper
Sage leaves, a few
For the gravy:
Dark game stock, 1l (chicken stock will do)
Dry cider, 1 glass
Roasting juices from the pheasant pan
1 First make sure your bird is not fridge cold; take it out of the fridge about an hour or so before cooking and if your kitchen is exceptionally cold, leave it near the warmest part of the room.
2 Preheat the oven to 200°c/gas 6.
3 Rub a little fat on to the bird and season it heavily. I also like to place a few sage leaves inside the cavity and under the breast skin. Don’t be tempted to tie the bird up - this simply impedes the speed at which the legs will cook and encourages overcooking of the breast meat.
4 Select a solid frying pan that will go in the oven. Get the pan hot on the stove and add a little fat. Place the bird on its spine in the pan and cook it on a medium-hot heat - you don’t want it to burn, but you do want to get some colour and you definitely want to release the flavour of the bird.
5 When the back has coloured, brown each side in the same way before returning it to its back. Place it, in the frying pan, in the oven. It shouldn’t need more than about 15 minutes - you are looking for the breasts to firm up nicely.
6 Take out and leave uncovered, somewhere warm, to rest for about half an hour, but 15 minutes will do if needs be.
7 Serve with your choice of sides, though I would recommend a well spiced bread sauce and some game chips. It’s a very traditional sort of dish, but none the worse for that.