Pheasant with dried pears & kumara

by Ray McVinnie | Cuisine issue #89
Serves: 4-6Pheasant can be dry but this sauce is thick and creamy, so it ensures a moist pheasant.

3 tablespoons butter
1 x 1kg organic pheasant
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
1 large sprig fresh thyme
1 cup dry white wine
2@1/2 cups chicken stock
500g orange kumara, peeled and
16 pieces dried pears, halved
1 cup cream
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leafed parsley, and a little extra for garnish

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan. When the butter is hot but not burning, add the pheasant and brown all over. Season well with salt and pepper.

Remove the pheasant to a deep casserole dish and lie it on its side. Add the garlic, ginger and thyme to the pan and saute until lightly browned, then add the wine. Bring to the boil and scrape the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour the wine mixture over the pheasant. Add the stock, kumara and pears. Make sure the kumara and pears are evenly distributed around the pheasant.

Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes, basting occasionally, then turn the pheasant on to the other side and cook another 40 minutes, basting occasionally, until the pheasant is tender. The kumara and pears will have cooked down to a thick sauce.

Remove from the oven and let the pheasant sit in the sauce for 10 minutes. Remove the pheasant to a platter and keep it warm.

Put the casserole dish over moderate heat and add the cream and parsley. Bring to the boil and mix well. Taste and reseason. Carve the pheasant and serve it with the sauce on the side. Good with green beans or peas, crusty bread and a green salad to follow. Garnish with a sprinkle of parsley.

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