One of my favourite game to eat but tricky to cook is pheasant. Few people don’t like it as it can have a very pronounced gamy taste, and it can be overcooked and dry. However let me share with you this super Belgian Classic way to cook it and I guarantee success.
As part of a series of Belgian dishes posted every first Wednesday of the month, I vow to demystify these uber Belgian classics for you. Step-by-step I will show you what to do, this will have you successfully recreate those gorgeous rustic Belgian flavours you discovered In Belgium.
BELGIAN ENDIVE ( CHICON – WITLOOF) – the chicory plant with its pretty little blue flours is native to Europe: the roots are roasted and ground and served as a hot beverage mixed or as substitute for coffee, radicchio is a well known winter leave in salads and the white shoot grown in the dark on the buried root is known as Belgian endive and is in season September to May. It can be enjoyed raw in a salad or braised served with game for example.
- Belgian endive can be at times a bit bitter, I recommend you remove about 2 cm from the bottom and like my grandma sprinkle a little sugar on them.
- If you are not a fan of Belgian endives or have trouble finding it , you can use fennel or white cabbage braised very much the same way.
- The hunting season for pheasants vary in each region in Belgium ranging between early October to end December . I recommend you buy them form a specialist butcher or poultry/game vendor.
STEP 1: Cut the ends off the endive, add them to a pan with the melted butter, season with salt and pepper. Let simmer to colour the endives on all sides, add a small cup of water, close with a lid and simmer until they are soft.
STEP 2: In a large pan melt the butter and brown all sides of the pheasant ( the butcher wrapped it in vine leaves and lard to keep it from drying out) Cook for 45 minutes in pre heated oven at 180 C.
My Pheasant a la Brabanconne
Yield 2 portions
- 1 pheasant, prepared by the butcher
- 6 Belgian endive
- 4 table spoons butter
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 500 ml beef or game stock
- 1 table spoon cognac
- Cut the ends of the chiton and lay in pan with metered butter, season and let brown on all sides. Add a small cup of water, close with lid and let simmer till soft and cooked through.
- Brown the pheasant on all sides in large pan with melted butter. Roast in the oven for 45 minutes in pre heated oven at 180C. Remove from oven and pan and let rest the pheasant rest on a cutting board.
- In a saucepan add the beef or game stock and let reduce by 2/3. Discard the fat in the roasting pan and add to the stovetop on high heat, add the cognac and deglaze the pan, you can either cook out the alcohol or set on fire ( flambee). Add the reduced stock and let simmer. You can add creme if you like or season and serve without.
on www.leeksandhighheels.com by Sandra Slawinski
Written and photographed by Sandra Slawinski without commercial deals. I used my own plate from ZaraHome and vintage silver tongs.