As the game season draws to a close soon. Make the most of the last of the pheasant with this easy recipe …
Oven-casseroled Pheasant Breast
with Dry-cured Bacon, Apple and Somerset Brandy – to serve four
4 plump pheasant breasts
8 slices of streaky bacon – dry-cured from your local butcher
5 tablespoons of Somerset Brandy
225ml double cream or a combination of cream and homemade chicken stock
25g unsalted butter
2 British dessert apples – such as Egremont Russet, peeled, cored & sliced.
Seasoning – freshly ground black pepper, no salt as the bacon should be salty enough but check at the end of cooking time
You will need
Casserole dish with tight fitting lid or foil
Pan suitable to sear breasts
Cook in the baking (bottom right oven) of a four oven AGA or the roasting (top oven) of a two oven AGA
For conventional cooking preheat oven to 180°C 350 F or Gas Mark 4
Remove any rind from the bacon and using the back of a knife stretch the bacon rashers and wrap each breast with a rasher to encase each one completely. Secure with a cocktail stick if necessary.
Preheat a frying pan and once hot sear each breast individually allowing to brown, remove the cocktail sticks.
Transfer to a casserole dish, cover and place in the oven. Cook for approximately fifteen to twenty minutes.
Check that they are done. Transfer the pheasant breasts to a serving platter, allow to rest and keep warm covered with foil and on the warming plate or on a protected lid of your two oven AGA.
Remove any fat from the pan and deglaze the hot casserole dish on your boiling plate or hob with the apple brandy. Add the cream (or cream and stock), reduce by boiling and thicken the sauce. I find the floor of the roasting oven ideal to reduce sauces. Check for seasoning.
Whilst the boiling plate lid is still up, in a small pan, sauté the apple in a tablespoon of olive oil and a knob of butter. Keep warm.
Finally carve the cooked & rested pheasant breasts on the diagonal, pour over the sauce and garnish with the apple.