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Roast pheasant with Alsace choucroute – by Jun Tanaka

26 October 2006

Ingredients
(Serves four)

500g raw choucroute
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
100ml duck fat
3 black peppercorns
3 juniper berries
1 large pheasant
1/2 Morteaux sausage (leave in one piece)
2in cube of smoked bacon belly (leave in one piece)
1 whole carrot
Chicken stock
200ml Alsace Riesling
1tsp good-quality grain mustard
Salt and pepper

Method

Rinse choucroute under cold running water for two hours. Gently sweat onion and garlic in duck fat with a lid on pan until onions are soft but not brown. Drain onions and put into clean pan and add Riesling, cooking until reduced by half. Mix onions with washed cabbage

Roughly crush peppercorns and juniper berries and tie up in a piece of muslin cloth with kitchen string. Take the legs off the pheasant. Quickly caramelise the legs with duck fat and add a little seasoning. Put an inch of cabbage in a heavy-bottomed pan, then add sausage, bacon, carrot, pheasant legs and muslin cloth and put remaining cabbage on top. Add just enough chicken stock to cover.

Cover pan with baking parchment and bake in the oven at 150°C for about 21/2 hours, checking regularly to ensure that carrot, sausages and bacon are not overcooked (they should be soft but not mushy). Sear pheasant gently in a hot pan with duck fat and seasoning until golden. Add butter, garlic and thyme. Place in oven at 180°C for about 10 minutes, then remove and rest.

Make sauce by taking some of the choucroute cooking liquid and thicken by adding the grain mustard. When pheasant has rested for at least 15 minutes, remove breasts, slicing each into eight slices at an angle. Neatly slice carrots, bacon and sausage and arrange with cabbage on plates. Place a piece of braised pheasant leg on top, then arrange four slices of the breast, before saucing.

Jun Tanaka, executive chef, Pearl restaurant, London

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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