Potted Pheasant; wood fired of course!
Last week we were lucky enough to be given some pheasants by a very generous friend.
With Christmas in mind instead of simply roasting them we decided to make some potted pheasant – an ideal gift for the foodie in your life. If you want to have a go yourself this is what we did (BTW if you don’t have a wood fired oven, don’t worry – you can cook the pheasant in your regular oven, slowly at about 150C, until cooked through; don’t put any smoking wood in though!):
1. First of all we cleaned and removed the shot from 4 pheasant breasts and legs (on the bone). We smoked these in a 120C falling oven with the embers (mixed with juniper and oak chips) to one side. At the same time we smoked a 750g piece of pork belly (rind off and cut into 3 pieces). This took about 2 hours. You could afford to do this at an even lower temperature.
2. We then placed the smoked meat into a pot with 2 chopped onions, a bunch of thyme, 1/2 teaspoon each of mace, nutmeg, all spice and paprika, the reserved pork rind, 1 litre of pheasant or chicken stock and 3 tablespoons of duck fat. We placed this back in our Bushman oven at a slightly higher 160C falling temperature and left overnight.
3. In the morning we removed all the meat from the bones and also took out all the tendons etc. The meat was then shredded with a sharp knife. Don’t use a food procesor for this.
4. We then reduced the sauce by 75% and added the shredded meat.
5. This was divided between 6 sterilised jars, topped with a slice of lemon, a few tufts of thyme and finally sealed with clarified butter.
6. Keep in the fridge and use up within 2 weeks or store it in tightly-sealed plastic containers and freeze until you want to use it.
7. Spread on sourdough toast with butter and homemade pickles, this is really delicious!