Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Christmas Pudding Stuffed Pheasant

Last night I made christmas pudding stuffed pheasant. A little unusual, granted, but there was method to my madness, I promise! I spotted this competition, run by Matthew Walker, over on the UKFBA website and couldn't resist giving it a go. Many thanks to Matthew Walker for posting me 2 christmas puddings to play around with! There was probably enough for more than one experiment but I'd be lying if I said I didn't sample a bit first... Well it was important to identify what the flavours were in order to inspire my creative side!! Honest!
Not wanting to be totally predictable and make a dessert with my lovely christmas puds, I decided to make a savory dish. And I have to say, it was really tasty! JJ did look terribly worried when I was explaining last night's dinner whilst wandering around the supermarket but he was a very good sport and went along with my random plan. He's very good like that! I tend to have a lot of random plans and I wish I could say that stuffing a bird with a pudding was my most random to date...

Anyway, what I did...

To make the stuffing, I fried up half an onion (finely chopped) with about 4 rashers of streaky bacon and the sausage meat from one large sausage. Once this was lovely and golden, I put it to the side to cool a little. I then mixed up about 200g of christmas pud with some chopped chestnuts, parsley (a good tablespoon), some lemon zest and the onion and bacon mix. I mixed this all up with my hands to make sure there was a good even distribution of the pudding and tasted and added seasoning. Then I took my pheasant and stuffed the cavity with the stuffing before fastening with string, placing in a small roasting tray with half an onion, sliced up, and laid pancetta over the top of the bird. That went into a hot oven (220C) for 50 minutes and voila! A beautifully roasted bird. (Definitely cooking up one of these suckers again - really quick to cook and very tasty).

I served this with buttery mash with spring onions mixed through and brussel sprouts topped with the pancetta from the bird (crumbled up a bit). I made a quick gravy from the roasting juices, just by deglazing with brandy and mixing in a spot of bramble jelly and beef stock.

I would have to say, I was very prepared for this to be a total flop - I'm new to totally inventive cooking like this and I've never even cooked a pheasant before, let alone made up a stuffing! But my gut instinct that the rich fruit of the pudding would go well with the rich game meat of the pheasant proved spot on and we finished up the whole thing! Really was very good.

So anyway, that's something a bit different to my normal baking-related waffle but (poor JJ) I'm thinking of doing more experimental cuisine now that this was such a hit... Have you ever done any crazy combinations before? Were they successful??

Rosy xx


  1. Being on the skint student side of life; random mixes are frequent. One of the nicest/edible ones is grilled bacon and peanut butter (crunchy)sandwiches. Really quite gorgeous :)

    Hope you're well,

    Fran x

  2. Ooo, I used to live off peanut butter at uni but didn't ever pair it with bacon... HAVE to try it - I love peanut butter and honey sandwiches on the cheapest white sliced bread I can find. Major guilty pleasure!