Sous vide pheasant
Sous vide pheasant
2 pheasant breasts
1 corn on the cob
1 large leek
200ml chicken stock
50ml red wine
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves of garlic
This sous vide pheasant is beautifully succulent, served with melt-in-the-mouth leeks, charred corn and a warming game sauce. We’ve used an advanced cooking technique, but you don’t necessarily need specialist equipment. You can get the same results using a pan of water, monitoring the temperature with a thermometer, and clipping ingredients to the side of the pan in open sealable freezer bags.
Ask your butcher to prepare your pheasant by removing the breasts and legs from a whole pheasant. Keep the carcass and legs for the sauce. Trim the two breasts and take off the wing bone. Vac pack each breast with a sprig of thyme and 1 clove of garlic or put each in a zip lock bag.
Slice the leek into 5cm pieces, then place in a vac pack bag or zip lock bag with a touch of salt and 5g of butter. Vac pack the leeks on tight, if using a vac packer, and place in the water bath at 63°C for around 3 hours. If using freezer bags clip to the inside of the pan, ensuring they’re open so air can escape. This will break all the fibres down and make the leek smooth to eat while still holding its shape.
After 1 hour 40 minutes, place bags of pheasant into the water bath next to the leeks for 1 hour and 20 minutes at the same temperature. By cooking the meat really slowly in this way you’ll get a beautiful moist texture.
With a blow torch burn the corn on the cob until it’s black, giving it a charred flavour that will offset with the sweetness of the leek.
Roast the trimmings from the pheasant – the carcass, legs and wings – in a hot oven at 200°C for 10 minutes. Pour the chicken stock onto the bones and add the Marmite, cloves, mace and a few sprigs of thyme. Return to the oven and leave to reduce by half.
Simmer the wine and the Madeira in a saucepan on a medium heat, reducing by half. Pour the reduced chicken stock through a fine sieve onto the wine and Madeira, and reduce the sauce again to the right consistency – it should coat the spoon while stirring.
Take the pheasant breasts from the water bath and sear the skin in a pan until golden and crispy. Turn the breasts over and add a few knobs of cold butter. Slice the charred corn of the cob and rip off a few large pieces, adding these to the pan with the pheasant.
Take the leeks from the water bath and stand these on a tray, then dry with a blowtorch. Don’t worry if you char them a little. Drain the pheasant breasts and sweet corn onto a cloth alongside the leek.
Place the sliced pheasant breasts on a plate and scatter around the leek and corn pieces, then cover the whole thing with the sauce.