I have been working on clearing out my chest freezer this winter in anticipation of a major defrosting session (and maybe replacement with an upright which I find much easier to use), and so have been avoiding purchasing ‘meat for the freezer’ while we eat what we’ve already got. This means that we haven’t been taking advantage of the seasonal bounty of game birds in the local market. But something I read a couple of weeks ago made me realize we hadn’t even had any game birds fresh, and the hunting season here is nearly over (perhaps is over by now!). So for the past week, we have been indulging in pheasant.
The first day, I planned to follow my favourite pheasant recipe from the Joy of Cooking, but discovered I didn’t have about half the ingredients around the time the oven was preheating, so I improvised. A lot. It turned out well, and the Other Half asked if I was going to blog about it. Um, yes? But I hadn’t taken any pictures, or made any notes while I was cooking. So he had to go back to the market and buy more pheasant while it was still there. (And since there’s quite a lot of freezer space at the moment, he bought a job lot. I can’t complain, really. 🙂 ) Obviously, if I wanted to put anything on the blog, it should be right away, so I made the same improvised dish again, before we’d even used the leftovers from the first time around. I think you can see where this is heading.
Hopefully, those of you with hunters in the family, or even just shopping omnivores like me, will find some new ideas in the following week’s menu based on pheasant (any medium sized game bird will do), with more leftover than we usually have from one pheasant dinner! Some of the suggestions are for dinners, and some are for lunches. Remember to give yourself a little break from pheasant by having other foods on days in between, but it is a good idea to have things in more or less this order, as you are gradually using up the biggest or most perishable pieces of meat first, even taking good refrigeration into account.
Day one: Pheasant Braised with Leeks and Mushrooms, boiled potatoes.
Harvest all the meat you can off the bones now, separating it according to purpose. Make stock as soon as possible.
Day two: Sliced pheasant breast sandwiches, crudites and yogurt.
Day three: Re-fried pheasant thighs (off the bone), boiled rice, leftover leek and mushroom ‘sauce’.
Day four: Pheasant fried rice, including leftover bitty bits of meat, leftover boiled rice and fresh diced vegetables.
Day five: Pheasant soup (using your own stock of course), including any remaining leftovers and adding vegetables and starch as required.