Pheasant Pate For the Festive Season

This week, a delicious recipe courtesy of the fantastic Raemoir House Hotel

Put a tasty twist to your standard Pate by adding the gamey-ness of pheasant. It works wonderfully well and will always be a winner at any party. I like to serve this with a sweet balsamic red onion chutney and crumbly oatcakes. This recipe is ideal when you have either fresh or frozen pheasant and are looking for some inspiring ideas for a light lunch or first course with friends.

Pheasant Pate

  • 1 whole pheasant, plucked (or Oven ready)
  • 4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 1/2 glass of white wine
  • 1/2 glass of red wine
  • 50ml Madeira
  • 2tbsp brandy
  • 3 large shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 litre chicken stock, or one good quality stock cube dissolved in that amount of boiling water
  • 4 juniper berries
  • 100g duck or chicken livers
  • 100ml double cream

Remove the legs from the pheasant, and then cut through the leg joint to separate the thigh from the drumstick. Put the drumstick to one side, and remove the skin from the thighs and cut out the bone with the point of a sharp knife. Cut the breasts away from the carcass and remove the skin.

Cut the thigh and breast meat into rough 2cm chunks and place in a non-reactive bowl with the wine, Madeira and brandy. Marinade in the fridge for 24 hours.

Chop the drumsticks and carcass up into small pieces with a heavy chopping knife or cleaver. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan and fry the bones and shallots, stirring well, until they are nicely coloured. Add the stock, thyme, garlic and juniper, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour. Strain the stock through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan, add the marinating liquor from the pheasant, and boil until you have about two or three spoonfuls of syrupy liquid left.

Dry the meat on some kitchen paper and season. Heat half the butter in a frying pan and cook it on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring every so often and keeping the meat pink. Put to one side. Add the rest of the butter to the pan, season the livers and sauté them for 2-3 minutes, stirring and keeping them pink. Mix the pheasant, liver and reduced stock together, and then blend in a liquidiser or food processor in two or three batches to keep it as smooth as possible. Stop every so often during blending to scrape the sides with a spatula.

Whip the cream until fairly stiff and carefully fold into the mixture with a spoon. Transfer to a serving dish or container, cover with Clingfilm and refrigerate overnight.

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