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Country style

By Dave Snowden  ·  December 27, 2009  ·  Cooking

200912272305.jpgMy daughter decided to invite a set of university friends home for a few days in the country. They are all Londoners so in contrast daughter appears positively rural, although its only in contrast. Her natural habitat is the nightclub, bar or restaurant rather than a dawn walk over the downs. The net effect of this invitation is that I had to prepare a country meal today. Not only that I had to prepare it in advance as by the time the guests arrive . I plan to be in Cardiff for a rugby match against the Dragons that we need to win, ideally with a bonus point. Mu choice was Pheasant Normandy with Barry's Mash, Red Cabbage and Leeks.

Three brace of pheasant had hung in the garage for a week. plucked and cleaned I quickly browned them in a mix of butter and oil (bottom, then both breasts) putting them to one side once complete. I have a frying pan that will take three at a time, and a large pot that is perfect for six. Three large cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced were then fried in the pan juices left over from the pheasant and laid on the bottom of the large pot, followed by the six pheasants and around 30 small shallots peeled but whole. I then added half a bottle of red wine, a pint of stock and three wines glasses of calvados brought it to the boil and then left it in the bottom oven of the Aga for four hours.

Before I started that I filled an Aga shelf with large baking tatws and an hour and a quarter later they were ready. I souped out the insides, retain the skins and mashed them with butter and pepper before filling a large oven dish. The skins along with basil, oregano and thyme were then shredded in the magimix and the result mix spread over the top of the baking dish. Know as Barrie's Mash, this is a novel and interesting way to present tatws, and a tasty one.

Leeks were peeled but left intact and sealed into an oven proof dish with stock and some lemon juice all ready for cooking. Red Cabbage was prepared as per my earlier posting. The instructions I left for daughter were hopefully easy to follow and were in turn followed. I will learnt later if it worked. I repeat them below:

  • After four hours remove the pheasant from the oven, heat up the red cabbage and then put that in the bottom oven for an hour and a half.
  • When it has cooled strip the mean from each pheasant (best done with fingers along although its messy) and throw away the carcasses. Reduce the sauce if necessary and flavor with red jelly if it needs it.
  • forty minutes before you want to eat put the leeks on the bottom shelf of the top oven
  • Half an hour before you want to eat, reheat the pheasant on the top plate then transfer to the bottom oven
  • Twenty minutes before put the tatwys into the top oven, second shelf
  • Ten minutes before reheat the red cabbage
  • Decant into the second best china and place it all on the table. Cumberland sauce to be available as well as salt and pepper
  • Warn guest to check for lead shot while eating - we don't want them to loose any teeth

Definitely country style, hopefully nothing can go wrong and now to drive the Cardiff for the match.