Labradors and pheasant casserole

Well I have to say one of the funniest things I’ve ever witnessed happened today, I went down to the Peli to take Millie out for a walk, I took her down to the river (she loves it there), when I got back to the pub there was a couple with their daughter sitting in the smokers barn. They had obviously been walking their two Labs, one was a very big black dog the other a very big (and I do mean very big, this thing was huge, I subsequently found out it was only five months old) puppy. Anyway as I approached both dogs were up wanting to play with Millie, she ignored them as she does most dogs but it took all the owners could do to control them. I continued into the pub and bought a pint and returned to the smokers barn intending to have a cigar with my beverage. This is when the fun started, in the time it took for me to get my pint the people in the barn had been served their lunch and were merrily digging in. Now what must have happened was the mother had put her foot through the loop end of the puppy’s lead whilst the daughter held on to the big ones lead while they were intending to eat. As I entered the barn the puppy (you should have seen the size of its paws) made a playful lunge for Millie pulling the poor woman (and her plate of food) off the bench seat, at the same time the big dog made a similar lunge dragging the young girl off her part of the bench seat, the father not understanding what was happening tried to first grab his wife (and missed) and then grab his daughter (and missed) but managed to knock both his and his daughter’s meals onto the floor. You have to imagine the scene, there was this woman being dragged across the floor by the ankle, the young girl being spun onto her back and the guy sprawled across the table with three dogs gleefully tucking into their lunch. Luckily they saw the funny side of it, nobody was hurt and the dogs got a free lunch, I laughed all the way home.

The other day I found a pheasant lurking in the darkest regions of the freezer, one I had shoot last year, it was a small hen so I decided to casserole it. I cut it into four pieces and browned it in 50 grams of unsalted butter, removed it from the pan and put it in the oven to keep warm.

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chop up the usual two rashers of smoked bacon, an onion, a small stick of celery and a small carrot and sauté in the butter that the pheasant pieces were browned in, until there is a hint of them turning russet, add the pheasant pieces and cook gently for ten mins then pour over a good glass of Armagnac and ignite, once it is flaming put the lid on and remove from the heat for two mins.

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Add a bunch of parsley, a couple of sprigs of thyme, a bay leaf, 12 juniper berries and half a lemon, season add half a litre of chicken stock (see previous post) and pop into a low oven for two to three hours. This dish is really tangy, you can thicken the sauce with some plain flour mixed with a little water at the end if you feel it’s necessary.

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Joe and I had this with some boiled Pembroke potatoes, beans and carrots from the garden, oh and a rather nice beaujolais.

One thought on “Labradors and pheasant casserole

  1. How lovely to remember beautiful Jodie xxx I was lucky enough to get to know her on some marvellous walks with both her and Millie and will never forget her softness and amazing long distance retrieves – she will be seen again this season ,in the minds eye, joyfully dancing through the frost I,m sure xxxxx

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