Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A pheasant in the pot....

After feeding the four footed zoo (they are easy, it is "croquettes" otherwise known in English as kibble) I am thinking what I should do about the two footed beasts in the house (Samantha Laurent and I) as we usually desire something more than kibble.

Sologne,just next to the Loire Valley is the hearting center of France. We have thousands of forested acres where the deer and, not buffalo, but "sanglier" (boar) roam as well as pheasants and partridges.

Here I am with one. Now that is about 130kg of BEAST!

Yesterday was the last day of the season, at least for the pheasants and a neighbor was nice enough to give me one.

A beauty he is.

Because hunting is so important here in Sologne, game cooking is one of the regional delights. In fact, I give a cooking course in it at my B&B

The name of the course? "Eat Like a Wild Man - The Art of Elegant Game Cooking"

The "Eat like a Wild Man" is also the title of a very good game cookbook by Rebecca Grey that I use quite often. I will be doing a variation of her Etruscan Pheasant

1 whole pheasant
1 lemon
l large red onion
4 tbsps butter (I use "escargot" butter, garlic and parsley mixed into the butter)
2 cups chopped veggies (I used carrots and onions)
1/2 cup wine (I replaced it with my smoked chicken stock
1 tbsp your choice of herbs (I used sage and thyme)

Soak a terra-cotta pot for 30 minutes. Rinse, pat dry, then rub the pheasant with lemon salt and pepper it. Put 2 tbsps butter along with a quartered onion into the cavity. Put the pheasant into the rinsed pot, add the veggies, herbs and the wine or stock. Cover pot and put it into a cold oven for 90 minutes at 450°F, 230°, 8 gas mark.

But to go with the pheasant...yes, of course, Brussels sprouts!

This is easy too, but it does take some time. I slice the carrots then grill them just a bit, with a little butter. When they start to brown I add the brussels sprouts, then about 1/2 smoked chicken stock. I let it reduce, stirring occassionally. I "braise" the vegtables by continuing to add a little of the stock at a time until tender. I add about 1/2 cooked bacon and crumble chestnuts just add the end of the cooking.

I served it with, what I think, is the best Cherveny wine, Domaine des Huards. It is a local Loire Valley wine,  just 20 minutes from our B&B.

The poor Loire Valley wines get lost among the Grand Crus from Bordeaux. Since living here I have happily tried most of them and find many very very good. The Domaine des Huards I serve at my "table d'hôtes" (dinner for my B&B guests) is one of the best. And, the better yet,  since they don't keep as well as a Bordeaux you can drink them sooner!

Kristi Anderson, the original owner of Tea & Tattered Paris, now runs Saint Jacques, le coin perdu. A B&B located just 1 1/2 south of Paris near Orléans.

                                           kristi anderson
le saint jacques le coin perdu
15, place de l'église
45240 Ligny le Ribault

1 comment:

  1. Yum! I do love a good game dinner, and in my current state, I've not enjoyed one this year. Ah well. I look forward to reading more about your adventures in b&b, food and France. Having left my b&b behind me for the moment... Best of luck!