Baked Honeyed Tomatoes with Mozzarella and Wild Rocket Salad
A single serving.
- 200g local honey
- 120ml balsamic vinegar
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ plum tomatoes (cut lengthwise) or your choice of tomato from your greenhouse!
- 1 finely chopped clove of garlic
- 2 or 3 fresh rocket leaves
- 1 slice of mozzarella cheese, large enough to cover each slice of tomato and approximately 1 ¼ cm thick.
- Rock salt
- 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 120°C.
Make a balsamic reduction: place 170g of the honey and the balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and heat until reduced to the consistency of cooking oil (Medium heat).
Brush a baking tray with olive oil. Place your sliced tomatoes face down on the tray and brush these with the remaining honey. Sprinkle the rock salt, thyme and chopped garlic over the tomatoes. Pour ¾ of the balsamic reduction over the tomatoes. Bake for approximately 10 minutes and try to avoid over cooking so that the tomatoes retain some firmness.
Serve the tomato slices with the mozzarella on top, accompanied by the fresh rocket, dressed with olive oil. Dress the serving dish with the remaining balsamic reduction.
Casserole of Pheasant “Prince of Wales”
Ingredients for the Casserole
- 1 Brace of Pheasants
- 100gms butter
- 2 small carrots cut into small pieces
- 2 small parsnips cut into small pieces
- 8 small shallots peeled and left whole
- 150gm of heather honey or similar, dark and bitter as possible
(Keep peelings for the sauce)
Ingredients for the sauce
- 100gm butter
- Carcass from the pheasants
- 4 rashers of bacon
- 4 sprigs of thyme
- 200gm wild mushrooms
- 200ml of blackberry melomel (or Dry Mead)
- 1.5 liters of chicken stock
- 100 gm chestnuts
As many potatoes and cabbage as you can eat
As many carrots and parsnips as you can eat
There is no point in using a fancy vegetable or potato for this dish. Pheasant recipes are as old as our castles and for this dish, we are looking at ancient history methods no fancy vegetable cuts. Just put, Boil and mash some potatoes’ add some chopped cabbage (it makes a better taste if you caramelize the cabbage first in a separate pan with honey), bacon and butter season. Mix it well and what have you got? That ole favourite Irish “Colcannon” perfect.
Boil equal amounts of carrots and parsnips when cooked drain mash with a good helping of butter season “Wow just the thought of it”. This is a veg dish to die for.
This dish is easy peasy so don’t be put off by the preparation I mean Americans flew to the moon and back, so this should be a doddle.
First, prepare the pheasant by removing the wings and carefully pulling out the long tail feathers, remove the head from the shoulders, wings at the first joint, claws at the second joint. When removing the feet and wings use a pair of chefs scissors and cut cleanly between the joints, not the bone as this may cause the bone to splinter. Place the tail feathers and wings in the freezer to kill off any tic-tacs.
Hold the pheasant by the legs and pluck the feathers downwards into a cardboard box or refuse bag (saves feathers flying everywhere).
There will be the odd small quills left in the skin, remove these by singeing on an open gas flame for a few seconds. Now to eviscerate (removing the innards). If you don’t know how to do this ask your mom to show you or simply lay the bird on its back with a small knife, make an incision from the vent up towards the breast.
Insert two fingers inside the bird below the breast, when you get near the inside neck curl the tips of your fingers and with one good yank remove those lovely innards in one go. Now go back in and pull out the lights(lungs) and heart. Don’t dispose of the heart this will be used later. Cut the gizzard in half and remove the hard inside skin. Put it with the heart. Be careful with the liver there is a small green bag attached don’t burst it if you do discard the liver otherwise remove it and keep the liver. The green bag is the Gaul, which will taint your meat if breached. You know what they say “where there’s Honey there is Gaul.”
Wash the inside and outside of the bird under cold running water. Dry it with a paper towel. There is a small long throat tube at the neck pull it out.
With a chef’s good quality knife remove the breast and legs, if you’re not sure how to do this ask your mom. Chop up the remains of the carcasses, ready for your sauce.
Wrap the breast and legs in a piece of hickory smoked bacon put on a tray to the side. Then brush literary with honey then put on a plate left to the side.
Let’s get Saucy.
For this, you will need a thick bottomed saucepan. Heat it on the stove, add the butter and once this has melted add the chopped carcasses and bacon. Cook until brown, stirring occasionally.
melomel or Dry Mead. If it’s as good as Ken Schramm’s’ then, with care, keeping your face away from the pan, tilt it and let the flame catch the alcohol and flame the melomel. The pan should be still hot. With this dish it’s good to use all-natural ingredients; your blackberry melomel should preferably be dry and strong.
Reduce the melomel by half then sprinkle 100 gms.
Place a knob of butter (100gms) in a thick bottom frying pan, when nice and hot place the pheasants’ pieces in the pan and seal until golden brown turn over the meat and color as well as the heart and liver takes about 3 minutes, keep the liver for Kim. Place all the meat in a good earthenware casserole dish try not to use glass it hurts the cooking process.
Know place a dessert spoon of flour in a small cup add a touch of water to make a thick paste. With your finger spread this mixture around the edge of the casserole dish. When you place the lid on the dish and put it in the oven, the lid will be sealed and not let any essence of pheasant escape this is very important to capture and not let any smidgeon of flavor escape. This action is as important as a Wax Seal on the American Independent of Declaration. Well, not really but for a chef who, it could be.
Place on the middle shelf of the oven and bake 160 Celsius slowly for around 40 minutes. This is a dish fit for Kings, Queens, and beekeepers
The pheasant should be served as though your guests are either Royalty or beekeepers both similar in status. Just view the photograph and dress the casserole which is in the center of the salver with all trimmings and garnishes. Guide below.
Place the feet in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove, cool and strip the first layer of skin off then lightly brush with oil. Then Place to one side. Prepare a loaf of bread by cutting into a half, so it’s able to stand up straight bake it in a hot oven until it becomes hard. When cold pierce the tail feathers into the top of the loaf, the feet should be placed at the front, as the photo shows. Place on the back of the salver.
The casserole of pheasant goes into the center of the salver with all the birds’ trimmings dressed around. Boiled vegetables can be placed around the outside of the dish or if required served separately. An excellent idea with a bit of oomph would be to decorate the plate with a few vegetables, potatoes and game chips then serve hot vegetables separate i.e. mashed carrots and parsnips as well as colcannon potatoes.
To add the crown to the throne serve with medium or dry Sloe berry mead or similar. If you are not as lucky as me and don’t possess four beautiful daughters and a Sloe Berry mead go for a bottle or two of Australian Merlot, this has blackberry flavors.