Pheasant with Orange and Salad Leaves

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Here’s a quicky for ya.

I was going to call this “Pan Fried Pheasant” but I have a right bolshy friend who always pipes up with “what else are you going to fry a pheasant in!” well Sandra,you may be super whizz regarding Employment Law and all things ACAS but I’m the cook here and I’ll tell you that “pan fried” is not “deep fried”! There’s the difference.

This was a pack of M&S pheasant fillets that had been laying around the freezer for a while. Too small to cook as a main meal and as we Rimmers don’t do snacks or light lunches (Give me a peanut butter and cheese butty any day for lunch) I didn’t know what to do with them. So this day I had a revelation, why not, instead of one massive brilliant meal, don’t I do a starter and a slightly smaller mains than usual.

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So I had a quick look on the Interweb and saw a Gino D’acampo recipe using orange and as usual I ignored what he did, lovely man as he is, and made my own stylee!

First thing is, when cooking pheasant and any other very lean meats, it’s all about timing, so when you think you’ve got another 5 minutes cooking time, that’s when to stop. Resting the meat for 5-10 minutes will take care of the rest of the cooking process leaving you with succulent juicy meat. So as a guide I only fried in a butter olive oil mix for around 4 mins each side. I also pan fried, see Sandra; some mushrooms for a more earthy taste. I didn’t get the salad leaves from my allotment or my garden at La Squalid Midden de Quatre Saison, I bought them from Lidl. It was a Rocket and Baby Leaf salad.

The orange sauce was quite simple . I reduced a large glug of Orange juice (from concentrate) to a sticky sauce simply by boiling and added a small knob of butter to add a shine to the sauce and then drizzled over the pheasant.

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I must say,the pheasant was perfect. really juicy and full of flavour. The orange drizzle was zingy and went well with the pheasant. Funny, as they say orange is good to cut through the fat of duck but also good with a very lean meat like pheasant

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I also pan fried a few baby plum tomatoes too. This was a great way to use those pheasant breasts. Usually I go all poncey and wash food down with a good wine and this had Riesling written all over it but I’m now a home brewer and a top February 2016 Vintage Rimmer IPA was quaffed. Bloody lovely.
So Sandra, Stick that in your pan and fry it!

Oh, by the way Mugsie, what was the main meal? ………..

To be continued

Lobster Risotto

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You know you’re working class when it takes you to your fifties to try lobster for the first time!

I’ve been itching to try this crustacean of the privileged for donkeys’ it always seemed such a hike for what it was. So in my local Lidl I saw a whole frozen cooked lobster going for £4.99. Bargain! Or so I thought.   Well, I say bargain because the very same lobster is being sold at Tesco for £8. I just had to have it and sample it’s renowned sweetness. I’m still a bit miffed at the price as lobster especially in these waters is more prolific than ever due to the shrinking cod stocks as cod feed on lickle baby lobsters. Show me a poor lobster catcher and I’ll show you a happy Evertonian.

Anyway, I defrosted the lobster which comes in a sleeve surrounded by ice. I intended to use, as a good fabfoodblog bloke that I am, everything from the lobster and that included the ice, now water, that surrounded it to use as part of a stock to make the risotto.

So I got the lobster on the chopping board and removed the claws and took out the claw meat (you must have seen this being done!) and cut the rest of the lobster in half to remove the tail meat. Bleeding Heck! There’s not much there! It must work out around £70 a kilo for the meat.

I put the meat in the fridge for later. I made a stock with the shell of the lobster by sautéing half a onion and a clove of garlic and a stick of celery and a carrot in butter and then adding the lobster shells in a sauce pan. The classic “bisque” also has tomato purée which I added but as I had no brandy (or even whiskey, hard times indeed) I left that out. I added a pinch of cayenne pepper and covered it in the water saved from the lobster sleeve. I reduced this down on a low heat for an hour to extract as much flavour from the lobster shell as I could.

01  I made the risotto in the usual way, You know how to by now, using the lobster stock. When it was ready I sautéed the lobster meat in some butter along with some cockles I had in a jar (just to up the meat content) and added some chives. I would have used tarragon if I could but my crop failed this year. A scrape or two of parmesan and a twist of sea salt finished the dish.

Verdict. Utterly Loverly! We both loved it and I suppose at around £2.80 each was ok for a starter. For £5.60 I could feed an army though and that’s my problem with lobster. I’ve had it now and I’ll leave it at that. Roast Duck for tea tomorrow. There’s another dish of diminishing returns!

à bientôt