07 December, 2008

Of pheasants and prunes

Still no functioning camera. A new memory card is on its way in the post. The pictures of the nativity play were taken, Soilman, and in fact you'd have thought Angelina Jolie was in the play, the number of cameras that were in action that evening. Sadly however they are on the malfunctioning card. We're not yet deciding what to do about it. The more important thing is to get Charlotte as Mary on camera too.

Anyway, this is why you won't have pictures of me dissecting two pheasants for dinner. However if you do require photographic guidance and instructions on what to do with a brace then check out Middle of Nowhere. Last year, my cousin Jack came and did the honours. He's a doctor and a practiced dissector of all things feathered so went into things rather more thoroughly than Middle of Nowhere or me on this occasion. I was quite happy to exit the procedure with two breasts and two legs per bird.

Rather more interesting in my opinion, is the casserole I came up with. Start with a base of celery, carrot and onion finely chopped and then sauteed slowly in olive oil. Then brown the meat. Put the veg plus a couple of tomatoes into your casserole together with the pheasant, some chopped or sliced mushrooms, some prunes and a few strips of orange peel. The last two are my current favourites for stews and I think prunes in particular are underrated in this country. Lastly pour on a glass and a half of red wine. Pop in the oven at c. 170 degrees C for at least an hour and a half. Even the children liked it although dinner did involve a detailed discussion of the rights and wrongs of raising game and shooting it for sport, after we mentioned the possibility that they could come across some shot in the dish.

The pheasants were a gift from the local shoot run by the Glanusk estate, via our landlord Rob. For which much thanks. Today we headed up our lane and came across where they shoot. The views were glorious - clear blue sky, bright red hips on the bushes, silver birch bark shining in the sun, snow on the Beacons. I am a lucky lucky woman to live here.


Gretel said...

I must try prunes next time. (I accidentally left out a major ingredient on my recipe, which was 2-3 big tablespoons of chutney; similar fruity effect) Probably best you didn't post pictures, you will be spared any namby pamby comments such as the one I got from 'anonymous'. Glad to have been of help though!

Gretel said...

Oh My Goodness...the porkless pig...my jaw has just joined yours...but thank you for pointing me to another excellent blog.
Oh no, I've just read the how to skin a rabbit post and some of the dim witted comments have actually raised my blood pressure!