Pheasant breast with celeriac puree, shredded Brussels sprouts with bacon and a roast shallot, garlic and ginger jus.
Ingredients (serves 4):
4 pheasant breasts
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
For the celeriac puree:
1 small celeriac, approx. 350g
200ml double cream
For the shredded Brussels sprouts:
500 brussels sprouts, peeled and shredded
160g lardons or 4 rushers of smoked bacon finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
For the roast shallot, garlic and ginger jus:
4 banana shallots
½ a garlic bulb
2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 sprig of thyme
15g of peeled and sliced ginger
100ml dry red wine
200ml brown chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp ginger syrup (from a jar of stem ginger
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
Preheat the oven to 200 C. Put the garlic, whole shallots and thyme on piece of silver foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil and season the garlic with a little salt. Cover completely with the foil and bake the shallots for 45 minutes but the garlic should be ready after 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 190 for the pheasant.
While the shallots and garlic are baking, peel the celeriac and slice on a mandolin or with a knife very thinly. Put the celeriac in a heavy saucepan and add the milk and cream. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook covered for approx. 30 minutes by which time all the liquid should be absorbed. Leave to cool a little and blitz in a blender. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep to the side, covered with a piece of plastic wrap touching its surface.
To cook the shredded Brussels sprouts, trim them and slice thinly. Bring a sauteing pan to a medium heat. Add the olive oil and the lardons and cook till crispy. Using a draining spoon remove the lardons onto a piece of kitchen paper. Add the chopped onion to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes till translucent. Add the shredded sprouts and cook for 4-5 minutes stirring all the time. Add back the lardons and the parsley, season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.
To cook the pheasant breasts, wash them and pat dry. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring an oven proof frying pan to a high heat and add the olive oil. Add the pheasant breasts skin side down and cook till the skin is golden brown. Turn over and put the frying pan in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pheasant from the oven, cover loosely with kitchen foil and rest for a few minutes.
To make the shallot and garlic jus, cut the top of each shallot and squeeze the caramelised shallots out of the skins. Bring a small saucepan to a medium heat and add the remaining olive oil. Add the shallots, garlic and sliced ginger and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and let it evaporate almost completely. Add the stock and bay leaf and cook till the stock is reduced to less than half. Discard the bay leaf and using a stick blender, blitz the stock to a smooth consistency. Return to the saucepan and heat over a medium heat. Add the butter which you have cut in small cubes, a cube at a time while whisking until you have a glossy thick jus. Keep warm or cover with plastic film, touching the surface so that the stock does not form a skin.
To serve, warm the jus, celeriac puree and brussels sprouts. Place a large spoonful of celeriac puree on the plate. Top with a pheasant breast. Put a large spoonful of shredded Brussels sprouts next to the meat and drizzle with the shallot, garlic and ginger jus. Sprinkle with some finely chopped parsley.
For the festive table, Irini recommends to accompany this dish with a bottle of the excellent Rapsani Reserve Red Dry Wine by Tsantali Winery.
Find more of Irini's recipes on her website or in her book.