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Pheasant; Braised with Cabbage - Recipe

An excellent way of cooking pheasant and keeping it moist, especially if you have more elderly birds. Guinea fowl is also good handled in this manner.

Ingredients

For 4 as a main course:

- 2 pheasants - it's easier to have 2 cocks (larger) or 2 hens (more flavour) - as they will be matched in their cooking times
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) Olive Oil
- 6 sage leaves
- 1 big Onion, peeled and finely-chopped
- 2 medium cloves of Garlic, peeled and chopped
- 4 rashers of Streaky Bacon, with their rind removed - then cut into pieces
- 1 Green or Savoy Cabbage, cored and sliced
- 300ml/½ pint Dry White Wine
- 2 tablespoons (30ml) Tomato Purée
- 6 Juniper Berries, crushed
- 300ml/½ pint Chicken Stock
- Salt and freshly-ground Black Pepper

Method

- Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6.

- Heat the olive oil and sage leaves in a deep heavy-based frying pan (or stainless-steel flame proof casserole) and sear the pheasant on both sides until lightly browned. Remove from the heat, an tranfer the pheasants to a plate - keeping the pan juices.

- When cool enough to handle, cut the birds into half, along the breast bone - then in half again across to have four pieces of equal size.

- Return the pan to the heat, and cook the bacon pieces and chopped onion and garlic until the onion is soft.

- Add the cabbage and cook for five further minutes, turning it over in the onion mixture.

- Add the wine and allow it to bubble, the add the chicken stock, juniper berries and tomato purée and simmer for 5 minutes.

- Season the pheasant pieces with pepper and a little salt and add to the pan.

- Cover and braise in the oven for an hour, then test the thicken part of a thigh (generally the slowest part to cook) to ensure that it's tender.

Serve on a bed of the cabbage mixture, pouring some of the juices over.

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