Red wine-braised pheasant with polenta

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 4 people

  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 4 pheasant marylands (see note)
  • 1 onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised
  • 80 gm piece flat pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 20 gm dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 750 ml dry red wine
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  •  
  • Polenta
  • 800 ml milk
  • 300 gm yellow polenta
  • 160 gm parmesan, finely grated
  • 60 gm butter
01   Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish, add pheasant in batches, and cook over high heat, turning occasionally, for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, garlic and pancetta and sauté for 6 minutes or until onion is soft, add celery and carrot and sauté for a further 3 minutes, then return pheasant to the pan. Add porcini and soaking liquid, herbs and red wine, bring to the boil, cover and roast at 150C for 3 hours. Stir through balsamic vinegar.
02   For polenta, bring milk and 1 litre of water to the boil in a large saucepan and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add polenta in a thin stream, whisking continuously. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally using a wooden spoon and adding more water as needed, for 1½ hours or until smooth and creamy. Stir through parmesan and butter, season to taste and keep warm until required.
03   To serve, spoon polenta among plates and top with braised pheasant.

Note Pheasant marylands are available from Game Farm. Alternatively, 2 whole pheasants can be used, cut into 6 pieces each.

Recipe:

RODNEY DUNN

Photography:

WILLIAM MEPPEM

Styling:

RODNEY DUNN AND LYNSEY FRYERS

FEATURED IN

May 2007

May 2007

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