Archives

Pheasant in a Creamy-cheesy Greek Sauce with Greek Salad

banner

This is no. 5 in my ‘101 Things To Do With a Dead Pheasant‘ quest. The sauce recipe was inspired by Patra Martios at faghta-giagias.blogspot.com. (Google couldn’t translate the page very clearly, so the sauce is very much a ‘based on’ creation, plus my own version of Greek salad.)

Not one of my budget recipes. Even if made with chicken or some other bird, still pricey, although the sauce goes a long way and eeks out the limited meat yield when cooking a pheasant.

Clipboard02Pheasants were, incidentally, known by the Greeks from ancient times. Originally an Asian species, they were traditionally said to have been introduced by traders via the Black Sea city of Phasis, hence ‘Pheasant’, but they probably arrived in Europe in prehistoric times by a variety of routes.

They were imported and bred in Britain in large numbers only from about 1100 AD (although visiting Romans a millennium earlier must have been familiar with the bird and may have brought the odd one over). Today, pheasants breeds very happily in the British countryside, although the majority one sees while out are captive-bred and released for shoots – there are, amazingly, tens-of-millions released each year.

INGREDIENTS

DSC_0001 greeds.jpg

THE MEAT

  • Pheasant (or chicken / duck / goose / guinea fowl / quail / ostrich / pterodactyl / whatever), cooked, broken into small pieces and well-fried in a small amount of olive oil with a sprinkle of all-purpose seasoning.

THE SALAD

  • Tomato – any well-flavoured ones, like home-grown, cherry or beef tomatoes.
  • ½ a red onion.
  • ½ a cucumber, peeled.
  • A pepper (any colour).
  • Extra virgin olive oil.
  • ½ a lemon.
  • 75 g feta cheese.
  • Dried oregano.
  • Rocket.

Sliced up the tomatoes, finely chop the onion, chop up the pepper and cucumber, break the feta into rough cubes. Mix together (not too violently, or you’ll pulverize the feta) in a bowl with a fistful of rocket leaves, a splash of the olive oil, the juice of half a lemon and good pinch or oregano.

DSC_0013 salad

Put this in the fridge while you’re making the sauce.

THE SAUCE

  • 150 g of unsmoked bacon, finely chopped.
  • ½ a punnet of mushrooms.
  • 100 ml double cream.
  • 100 ml milk.
  • Good splash of extra virgin olive oil.
  • 50 g grated parmesan cheese (or the strongest hard Cheddar you can get). This costs a bit, but it is worth it for the flavour. Don’t buy cheap or powdered Parmesan, it tastes horrible.
  • Ground black pepper.
  • Cornflour.

Finely chop and fry the bacon.

DSC_0005 bacon.jpg

Thin-slice and cook the mushrooms on a moderate heat until all the moisture has bubble off – no oil needed, just let them bubble away in a non-stick frying pan until (almost) all the water has boiled/steamed off. They’ll reduce down to about ¼ of their original volume and have a rich flavour.

DSC_0006 rooms.jpg

Put the bacon, mushrooms and everything else together in a small saucepan and bring to a gentle simmer, stirring slowly, to melt the cheese in. Add a heaped desert spoon of cornflour until it is a moderately thick sauce consistency. If it goes too thick, stir in some more milk.

DSC_0016 sauce

Fry a small handful of the meat with a dollop of the sauce.

DSC_0027 mix in pan

On one side of the plate make a bed of rocket leaves, putting the meat/sauce mix on top, with the Greek salad on the other side.

gif-greek-pheasant

Happy to say the whole thing turned out well. Most delicious. The sauce, if thick enough, can also be used as a toast topping.

Gyros – Polish layered chicken salad (99p)

Another one from time spent in Poland. (I’m English with a bit of Scottish thrown in, by the way.) This is a good table-filler which I ate with friends on numerous occasions, and I’ve done my best to recreate the dish as I remember it. Gyros is pronounced ‘gee-ross’, with the ‘g’ hard as in ‘goat’.

2016-12-13 Giros (2) final.jpg

2016-12-13 Giros (1) ingreedients.jpg

Seven layers in my creation. Feel free to adjust quantities according to personal preference or experiment with other ingredients. From bottom to top:

  1. Chicken – 200g of meat, well chopped up. Can brown the chicken in a frying pan with a bit of all-purpose seasoning or stock for a bit of extra flavour. I’ve also made this with pheasant, which was delicious.
  2. Tomatoes – two beef tomatoes with the seeds removed, chopped up small, and with a generous squeeze of ketchup on top if you want.
  3. Red onion – half a red onion chopped up small. Can use white onion, but makes it a bit too oniony for me.
  4. Gherkins – three sliced up.
  5. Petit pois – 150g. Sweetcorn is normally used, but I don’t like sweetcorn. Gently press everything down a bit at this point.
  6. Mayonnaise – 200 ml, well-mixed with a flat teaspoon each of turmeric, coriander, paprika and all-purpose seasoning, dolloped across the peas. (Gyros flavouring can be bought ready-made in small packs from Polish shops.) Best made a few hours before so that the spice flavours can leech properly into the mayo.
  7. Lettuce – half an iceberg lettuce well chopped up. I also sprinkled grated carrot on top for visual appeal.

2016-12-13-giros-construction

I actually find this tastes best after half-a-day, when the various flavours have melded together a bit. Total cost, including electricity cooking the chicken (6 hours in a slow-cooker on ‘low’ overnight), £4.30.

2016-12-13-giros-meal

Makes five servings. With a chunk of buttered bread and the mandatory mug of Earl Grey, a meal for 99p.