Potato topped pheasant, root veg and white wine casserole

It’s pheasant season up and down the country so now’s the time to pick some up and give it a go. This casserole/pie dish is very comforting on a rainy day or as the nights get darker. The recipe would work equally well with chicken but might not have such a rich taste.

Pheasant and white wine casserole
Serves: 2

2 tbsp olive oil
2 pheasant breasts, chopped into bite sized chunks
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 small turnip (not suede but the little turnip things),  peeled and finely chopped
Fresh thyme
1 heaped tbsp plain flour
150ml white wine
200ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper

3 medium potatoes (choose ones that make good mash)
Generous knob of butter
Fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

In a frying pan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil until very hot, add the sliced pheasant breast until nicely browned and then divide the pieces between two individual-sized casserole dishes.

In the same pan, add the second tbsp olive oil and heat over a low to medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallot and sweat for a few minutes then add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the carrot and suede, turn up the heat to medium and then fry until slightly softened. Strip a few sprigs of thyme of their leaves and add these to the mix.

Stir in the flour and cook for a minute then add a splash of the wine and stir – this will avoid floury lumps. Add the rest of the wine and simmer, then gradually add chicken stock until you have a sauce of gravy consistency. Season as required.

Again, divide the sauce between the two dishes, the liquid should just not quite cover the meat and veg. Cover with the dishes little lids or foil and bake in the over at 160 degrees centigrade for 1 hour.

Meanwhile peel your potatoes and boil in salted water until ready to mash. Drain and mash with the butter and a teaspoon of finely chopped thyme leaves. Add a splash of milk to loosen if necessary and season.

Once the casseroles are ready remove the lids and either spoon or pipe over the mash. Put under a medium hot grill until golden or use a blowtorch.

Serve with some green veg.