About this recipe:Casseroling is an excellent way to cook pheasant, as it produces succulent meat and a rich sauce. Cutting the bird into 8 pieces will allow each person to get a piece of breast as well as dark meat. Herby mashed potatoes, baby carrots and broccoli are good accompaniments for this aromatic dish.
1 large bulb of fennel, about 300 g (10 1/2 oz)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 pheasant, about 1 kg (2 1/4 lb), jointed into 4 or 8 pieces
100 g (3 1/2 oz) shallots or button onions, halved
4 pieces stem ginger, about 115 g (4 oz) in total, cut into thin strips
4 tbsp ginger wine
300 ml (10 fl oz) chicken stock, preferably home-made
salt and pepper
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Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Trim the fennel, retaining any feathery leaves for the garnish, then cut the bulb lengthways into 8 wedges. Set aside.
Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole over a moderately high heat. Add the pheasant joints and shallots or button onions and fry to brown on all sides.
Add the fennel wedges. Turn the pheasant joints skin side up and sprinkle over the strips of ginger. Add the ginger wine and enough stock to come halfway up the pheasant joints but not cover them. Season to taste.
Bring to the boil, then cover the casserole and transfer to the oven. Cook for 1–1 1/4 hours or until the pheasant is tender. Serve garnished with the reserved fennel leaves.
Some more ideas
Try a pheasant casserole with chestnuts and cabbage. Brown the pheasant joints and shallots, then add 200 g (7 oz) vacuum-packed chestnuts and 200 g (7 oz) red cabbage, cut into 4 wedges, instead of the fennel wedges. Replace the stem ginger with 2 tbsp marmalade and use red wine instead of ginger wine. * Other game birds can be jointed and cooked in the same way. * When game is out of season, use duck or chicken joints.
Ginger is a useful alternative remedy for travel sickness or morning sickness. In herbal medicine it is used to aid digestion, to protect against respiratory and digestive infections, and to relieve flatulence. * Pheasant is an excellent source of protein as well as iron and B vitamins. Although it is higher in fat than other game birds, most of this fat is monounsaturated.
Each serving provides
B6, B12, niacin, iron * B2, potassium, zinc * E, folate, calcium, copper