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Pheasant with saupiquet sauce

07 OCTOBER 2011
Pheasant Enlarge
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • Splash sunflower oil
  • 4 pheasant breasts
  • 4 pheasant legs
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp salt

For the saupiquet sauce
  • 1 medium banana shallot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 200ml/7fl oz white burgundy wine
  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 8 juniper berries, bashed
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 40g/1½oz butter
  • 25g/1oz flour
  • 300ml/½pt strong chicken or ham stock
  • 100ml/4fl oz double cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method

Preheat the oven to 190ºC, 375°F, Gas 5.

To make the sauce, put the shallot, garlic, sugar, white wine, vinegar, juniper berries and thyme into a small pan and simmer rapidly until you are left with about 2 tbsp of reduced liquid. Turn off the heat.

Melt the butter in another pan over a medium heat and then scatter in the flour and whisk it in for around 30 seconds to cook out the raw taste.

Pour in the sauce through a sieve, then rescue the juniper berries and add them to the pan. The mixture will clag up at first but loosen as you start adding stock.

Start adding the stock, a ladleful at a time, whisking continuously. Once all the stock is added let the sauce bubble gently for 10 minutes so it reaches the right consistency.

Pour in the cream and bring the sauce to the faintest simmer (do not allow it to boil) then turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Reheat the sauce just before you are ready to serve.

Melt the butter and oil in a large frying pan, suitable for the oven, on the hob. Gently coat the skin side of the pheasant breasts and legs in the flour, seasoned with a good amount of salt. Put all the meat, skin side down, into the pan – it should sizzle immediately on entering the pan. Colour the skin well but do not burn the butter.

Turn all the joints over and place the pan in the oven for 10 minutes. Warm the sauce.

Slice each breast and serve with a leg and the sauce spooned over. Delicious with new potatoes.

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