Jazzing up pheasant
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