Pheasant with apple and the dodgy pear jelly

Last week i saw something on the twitter. It was a present of pyjamas and a dressing gown and sachets of hot chocolate that you give your children on Christmas Eve so that they might be (instagram) ready for Christmas morning. The suggestion was that you spent hours decorating the box you put them in and your children would have the happiest Christmas ever and if you didn't you were a horrid mother and your child would need years of therapy.

My reaction was a little wtf? who has time to do this? and can't a child be happy with a present of a new bike and some satsumas on the actual day? does it have to go on and on? It wasn't like this in my day, and could people stop putting washi tape on everything? Please.

Then i read this post and realised i was one of those. (you should read this blog whether you have children or not)

So whilst i might not feel the pressure of creating the perfect christmas eve for my children, I did feel pressure last month to make ALL the jams and jellies. Must. Preserve. All. The. Fruit. Said all those blogs with washed out colours and lots of thick black rimmed glasses.

I tried making a pear and sage jelly. I missed the setting point, the stuff came out like glue. No fancy jelly, no lifestyle blog post. No domestic goddess. Failure. I did think it might be good for adding a little sweetness to a sauce, if it melted. It did. I am saved.

Pheasant with cider, apples and dodgy pear jelly

1 Brace
1 medium sized bottle of dry cider
1 glass of leftover white wine
1 onion
some bacon or pancetta - whatever didn't get eaten for breakfast
juniper berries
Very thick or normal pear jelly
single cream

Pluck, draw and quarter your bird. Or skin it if you are lazy like me. dust in seasoned flour, brown in a pan. Set aside.
Sweat off the chopped onion and bacon.
Bruise juniper berries, and add with a bit of herbage.
Deglaze pan with the alcohol
Add a tablespoon of aforementioned jelly
Pop it all in a pan
Put on a tight fitting lid
Cook for 45 minutes or so, until the bird is tender.
Meanwhile, fry some windfall apples in butter
Remove the meat, and reduce the sauce.
Add cream
Arrange all the component parts on a suitable warm platter.

This recipe is great if you have a man who brings you birds. If you don't just do it with pork chops instead, and cook for less time. Don't feel you SHOULD be eating game, especially if you have to pay £6.50 for an oven ready bird from Waitrose.

You probably don't feel that you should, you are probably far more secure than I.
Well done.


David said...

I did wonder if this was next door's pheasant, helpfully fetched by the Hound.

Anna Wilson-Patterson said...

We have moved to a clifftop with an orchard, Yikes. The hounds love it. We gave all the apples and pears to the local tea room. Phew, I will try harder next year.