It’s almost September and so my supply of Pheasant from the season before has dwindled down to a few last birds. This poor little bird had taken a few too many shots in the chest. I wasn’t planning on sharing this post because this wasn’t the prettiest piece of meat, but then I remembered where my food comes from. It doesn’t come wrapped in butcher paper and tied with twine. It takes hours to get this to the dinner table, from pushing a field in less than favorable weather conditions to breaking down and cleaning the birds. After I had finished cooking this meal and tried how delicious it was I decided it was just too good not to share, BB’s and all!
When I defrosted this rooster, I will be honest, I didn’t know what I was going to make with it. There are many nights of the week like this when I have no idea what I am going to cook. I wake up, take some meat out of the freezer and peek inside the fridge and figure out what I will come up with. Today I happened to have some fresh grapes. The result was this recipe: rosemary seasoned wild pheasant with roasted grapes and a savory shallot pan sauce.
The secret to cooking without recipes and being able to come up with a great dinner such as this is to always keep a well stocked kitchen. I always have shallots, stock, a variety of flavored oils, vinegars and salts, and an ungodly amount of dried herbs. Keeping a pantry full of variety and specialty items makes cooking dinner a breeze because all you need is a quality piece of protein and some fruit or veggies in the fridge.
The recipe below is pretty simple and shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to cook. I also love that this is Paleo and Whole 30 approved and would go great with most side veggies. There are only a few ingredients and the recipe can easily be doubled for leftovers which makes this a great weeknight meal!
- 2 Pheasant Breasts
- Salt (I used Smoked, but regular is fine)
- 2 t. Dried Rosemary,crushed & divided*
- Large handful of Grapes (1 C.)
- 1 small Shallot, sliced
- ½ C. Chicken Stock
- 2 T. White Balsamic Vinegar*
- Oil/Ghee for Cooking
- Preheat the oven to 350. Season the pheasant breasts with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of crushed rosemary (about 1 teaspoon worth).
- Drizzle a little bit of oil over the grapes and place on a sheet pan for roasting. Roast for about 15 minutes or until they are just about to burst.
- While grapes are roasting, brown the pheasant breasts in a hot saute pan. After they have browned on both sides, remove them and add the shallots. Brown the shallots for several minutes and deglaze the pan with the white balsamic vinegar and stock, scraping the bits in the bottom. Add another teaspoon of rosemary and return the pheasant breasts. By now the grapes should be roasted and they can be added to the saute pan with the pheasants along with their juices.
- Allow the pheasant and sauce to simmer on low until the pheasant is cooked through and the sauce has reduced.
* I like to crush the dried rosemary leaves in a mortar and pestle.