Braised Stuffed Pheasant with Savoy Cabbage Gravy, and Potatoes
The Scandinavian Cookbook
by Trina Hahnemann
Pheasant can be tender and delicious, especially if you cook it with perfection and love. On Saturday nights in the fall I like to cook pheasant, barded with good quality organic bacon and stuffed with bread and herbs, for close friends and family. When dinner is ready and the guests have arrived, I fetch some of my best red wine from the cellar and enjoy the pleasures of living in a part of the world where there are four very different seasons.
• 2 slices bread, chopped
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
• 20 juniper berries, crushed
• 2 pheasants
• 12 slices bacon
• 1¼ cups red wine
• 1/4 cup port wine
• 2 shallots, sliced
• 1 carrot, sliced
• 10 thyme sprigs
• 1 tablespoon peppercorns
• 1¼ cups water
• 3/4 cup heavy cream
• 1¾ pounds fingerling potatoes
• Salt and pepper
• 1½ to 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 1/3 cups hazelnuts, chopped
• 1 small savoy cabbage, shredded
• 1/4 cup water
Make The Stuffing: Mix the bread and parsley with the juniper berries.
Make The Pheasants: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Use the stuffing to stuff the cavities of the pheasants. Wrap the bacon slices around the birds and place them in a roasting pan. Pour over the red wine. Roast for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350°F and add the port wine, shallots, carrot, thyme, peppercorns, and water. Tightly cover the pan with foil and roast for 35 minutes longer.
Remove the pheasants from the oven, discard the foil, and stir in the cream. Return the pheasants to the oven and roast for 20 minutes longer. To check if done, insert a skewer into the leg; the juices should run clear.
Meanwhile, Make The Vegetables: Boil the potatoes in a large pot of salted water until tender, then drain. Once they are cool enough to handle, peel them. Keep warm until serving.
Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the chopped hazelnuts for a couple of minutes. Add the cabbage and water and sauté for a few minutes more, or until soft and tender.
Carve the pheasants and season the sauce with salt and pepper. Serve the pheasants with the chunky vegetable sauce, cabbage, and potatoes.