Pheasant is in season and this recipe gives you hearty fodder to celebrate this fabulous game bird. An opulent meal for two, it's perfect for a cold and rainy Autumn day. Serve individually or on one huge platter to share, as seen above. Delicious served with a red win jus and a cheeky glass of vino. Inspired by the lovely evening spent at Jamie Oliver HQ for a Food Geek Underground Workshop on all things pheasant last week.
2 Pheasant breasts* 2 rashers of smoked back bacon, finely chopped 1kg potatoes, peeled and halved 1 Savoy cabbage - finely shredded 2 cloves garlic 2 Rosemary sprigs 100g butter 150ml double cream
*I bought a whole pheasant from my local butcher and asked him to remove the breasts for me, and I kept the legs and carcass to make soup)
Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the potatoes.
Take 25g of the butter and add to a large frying pan or wok.
Add the finely chopped bacon and shredded savoy cabbage and fry for 5 minutes, after which time, remove form the hob and set aside.
Prepare your pheasant breasts. Skin on or off according to your tastes, we chose skin off. Bash the breasts to tenderise, I used a pestle for this. Add a rosemary sprig to both breasts and a crushed clove of garlic, skin still on, to each too. Again, bash the breasts.
One your potatoes are boiled, drain them. In a large saucepan, add the remaining 75g of butter and the double cream and bring them to the boil. Once boiling turn the heat down a tad and beat in the potato.
Next, add the bacon and cabbage mixture to the potato and stir well, seasoning to taste.
Take a frying pan and pop it over a high heat, the pan needs to get very hot before you put the pheasant breasts in - else the meat with shrink instead of seal. Add a generous splash of olive oil to the frying pan and then add both the breasts, herby side down and press down with something - I used a bacon press but you could just use a smaller saucepan.
Cook the breast for 2 minutes then turn and press again. After another 2 minutes remove the breasts and set them aside to rest for a couple of minutes.
Serve up the colcannon and then finally, slice the pheasant breasts and serve on top.
Delicious served with a red wine jus.