Jazz­ing up pheas­ant

Shooting Times & Country Magazine - - SPORTING ANSWERS -

I get a lot of pheas­ants from the shoot where I do a lit­tle pick­ing-up — they are of­ten free as the game dealer isn’t keen to take the birds and the keeper doesn’t want to pay to have them taken away. This means most of the 130-odd bag is eaten by the beat­ers, Guns and pick­ers-up. Of­ten there is a rush to see who can get the par­tridges, of which we only have a few on two drives, but the pheas­ants are less sought af­ter. I took a lot of pheas­ant last sea­son and want to use up what I have left over, but I’m get­ting a bit bored of it and won­dered if you had any tips for mak­ing it more in­ter­est­ing?

You are lim­ited only by your own imag­i­na­tion and skill. There are lots of ways to use pheas­ant, just as there are lots of ways to use, say, pork. The thing to do is to as­sess the meat you have and make a de­ci­sion on how best to use it. For ex­am­ple, pheas­ant can be very lean so if you wish to make sausage rolls or pâté from it you will need to add some fat, whether it be but­ter, lard or duck fat, or per­haps some fat minced pork or ba­con. Then you have to think about how tough the meat is likely to be.

You can curry pheas­ant with great suc­cess but if you can­not curry other things well then per­haps give this a miss.

I would sug­gest tak­ing a few well-loved recipes you have made with other meats and try them with pheas­ant. There are also lots of great cook­ery cour­ses out there or you could sim­ply fol­low some prom­i­nent game chefs on­line to get ideas. Per­haps take a look at some of the bril­liant books on the sub­ject. There is no short­age of in­spi­ra­tion and it needn’t be tricky.

We eat a lot of pheas­ant esca­lope in our house. Sim­ply slice the breasts to but­ter­fly them, dip them in milk and then flour — or flour, egg and bread­crumbs — and pan fry with a lit­tle but­ter. De­li­cious. TM I know that gun­pow­der was first de­vel­oped and used in China, but when did we Brits first use it?

As you know, the Chi­nese de­vel­oped gun­pow­der, which is a mix­ture of salt­peter — also known as potas­sium ni­trate — char­coal and sul­phur. By the ninth cen­tury, sim­ple bombs, grenades and flame throw­ers made from hol­low bam­boo stems were in use and by the end of the

13th cen­tury the Chi­nese em­ployed a metal-bar­relled gun.

The use of gun­pow­der by English sol­diers was first recorded at the Bat­tle of Crécy in 1346 dur­ing the Hun­dred Years War with France. At that time gun­pow­der was sim­ply made us­ing a pes­tle and mor­tar and it was not un­til the 16th cen­tury that the first water-driven pow­der mills ap­peared. By the 17th cen­tury the Tower of

Lon­don was the main de­pos­i­tory for gun­pow­der, re­ceiv­ing 144 tons an­nu­ally. Pow­der mills were es­tab­lished in many parts of the coun­try, sev­eral be­ing built a safe dis­tance from

Lon­don on trib­u­taries of the Thames, which pro­vided water power for the man­u­fac­tur­ing process. TJ

The use of gun­pow­der by English sol­diers wasfirst recorded at the Bat­tle of Crécy in 1346

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