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Cooking with cider? How about pheasant with caramelised apple and cider sauce!

 

Pheasant with caramelised apples and cider sauce Pheasant cosies up with a fruity double act of apples and cider for a warming winter treat

Ingredients (to serve 2-4)

  • 1 pheasant
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 onion, sliced and chopped up finely
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped and sliced finely
  • 1 bottle of your favourite cider – roughly 500ml
  • Handful of thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Dollop of cream (optional)
  • Seasoning
  • ½ tsp of bouillon stock mixture, or ½ a stock cube
  • 2 apples, peeled, cored, quartered, then cut into 4 slices (choose a firm
    apple that holds it shape, like James Grieve)
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar

Method

Pheasant and cider sauce

  1. We sliced the breast and legs from one whole pheasant but you could ask your butcher to provide you with this too.
  2. Take each individual pheasant portion and dust with a light coating of flour.
  3. Pan fry in oil (we use olive oil) until the skin is crisp and brown roughly 3 minutes.
  4. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pan.
  5. After the onion has become clear (usually takes 2-3 minutes) add the bottle of cider (perry or apple will do).
  6. Let the mixture come to the boil, add the seasoning, bay leaf and thyme and bouillon/stock cube, and leave the mixture on a low heat for an hour. We use the bottom of our Aga for this.
  7. After one hour, take the pheasant out and keep it warm. Reduce the juices by one third. Taste for seasoning and add more if required.
  8. This is also the point to add a spoonful of cream too, but use your own tastebuds to dictate that – the mixture is just as good without it.
  9. Keep the pheasant warm on a plate, and while the sauce is reducing prepare the caramelised apples.

Caramelised apples

  1. Heat the butter in a saucepan
  2. Once it's fully melted and starting to bubble, add the brown sugar and the apples
  3. Brown and turn the apples well until nicely caramelised on all sides
  4. Remove from the heat and keep warm

Once the sauce mixture is reduced pour over and serve!

Top tip

This is a lovely, tasty wintery dish using well hung pheasant but if you're not the gamey type, it works equally well with chicken. You can also add spices to the caramelised apples if you like – a little cinnamon would work nicely.

 

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