Exotic foods have become normal, to the extent that coconut milk can be found at 4 different prices at my local shops. With all this on offer, I can’t resist giving the melting pot a stir and coming up with something new. Real Epicurean and Julia Parsons’ seasonal food blogging event ‘In The Bag’ has a theme of game this month, and what could be more natural than to combine sweet seasonal vegetables and pheasant with a rich Chinese sauce?
- 4 pheasant breasts
- Romanesco broccoli
- 1 parsnip
- 2 tbsp (approx) preserved black beans
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 1 shallot
- 1 can shiitake mushrooms
- 1 small can straw mushrooms
- A pinch of chilli
- Place the black beans in a small bowl and cover with cold water. Crush them with a spoon, and mix in the sesame oil and cornflour.
- Slice the shallot, and chop the broccoli. Open the cans of mushrooms. Cut the parsnip into quarters, and slice each quarter into 8 strips. Chop any big mushrooms.
- If you're using whole pheasants, turn them breast side up. Using a sharp knife, cut down on one side of the breast bone so the breast comes free. Slice it off and set it aside. Repeat for each breast.
- Chop the meat into strips. Grease a frying pan or large wok, put in a piece of meat, and set it on a hot hob.
- When the pan begins to sizzle, throw the pheasant in and stir-fry until browned.
- Add the shallot, broccoli and parsnip, and cook for a few minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and stir-fry until the hard vegetables have softened. You can add oil or water if the pan becomes dry.
- When the vegetables are soft, add the sauce, and mix thoroughly.
- At this point I put on some noodles to serve the stir fry with. When the noodles were cooked, I added a little of the noodle water and a pinch of chilli to the stir fry.
- Grab your chopsticks and dig in!
- If you’re left with two pheasant carcasses try making soup. That’s my plan for tomorrow!
- If you can’t find sesame oil and preserved black beans in your local supermarket, look out for oriental shops. These ingredients are very versatile and have a long shelf life.