John-Boy's Jointing Skills

So this weekend I headed back home to the countryside and thought I do a post whilst I was up there. My brother in-law had been on shoot the day previous & wanted to show me how to skin and joint a pheasant.

You can't get much fresher or free-range meat than this! He was even kind enough to send me home with 4 breasts.

So last night I had a go cooking pheasant. Here is the recipe I used:

Pheasant breasts braised in cider

Recipe by Bella Radford From Masterchef

4 x pheasant breasts (young hen breasts if possible as they won t be so tough)
4 large rashers, lightly smoked bacon
500ml/17fl oz dry cider
5 shallots
1 tsp caster sugar
30g/1oz plain flour
100ml/7tbsp full fat crème fraîche


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
2. Butter the pheasant breasts and then wrap in the bacon. Place in an ovenproof dish (so that they aren t too cramped together) and then pop in the oven for 25 minutes.
3. After 25 minutes reduce the oven temperature to 170C/325F/Gas 3, pour 250ml/8 fl oz of the cider over the pheasant breasts, cover with a lid or tin foil, and return to the oven for another 60 minutes.
4. Towards the ending of the cooking time for the pheasants, pour the remaining cider into a saucepan and reduce by about half.
5. Thinly slice the shallots and cook very slowly in a little butter until soft. Then add the caster sugar and continue to cook until lightly caramelised. Remove off the heat until ready to finish the sauce.
6. Check the pheasant breasts during the cooking time to ensure that they do not dry out and add more cider if necessary.
7. To finish the sauce, add the flour to the shallots back on a gentle heat and mix together. You may need to add a little more butter at this stage if the shallots are very dry, but they shouldn't be. Now add the cider reduction and the crème fraîche and cook together over a low heat until the sauce starts to thicken.

It was really really tasty, but warning - keep an eye on the meat. It easily & quickly drys out, so don't be afraid to take it out of the oven a bit earlier if you so wish.


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