Monday, 19 November 2012

A pheasant

Recipe books are in the news, for not conveying the true art of cookery. Let me give you a case in point: I went into our local butcher in Moffat the other day and the greengrocer next door and bought a pheasant, some streaky bacon, an onion, a carrot and some cumberland sausages. I roasted the pheasant, using the streaky bacon over the breast, putting half the onion inside and the rest of the onion and the carrot chopped up in chunks with the sausages round about. It turned out that by the time the juices were running yellow not pink, the pheasant was quite tough. So I only ate a little of the pheasant roasted, with a couple of the cumberland sausages (bear with me, this is going somewhere) and half the baked potato which was also on a rack in the oven cooking at the same time as the pheasant. So then, dear reader,  I did what real cooks have been doing since stone age man came back to camp with a lump hacked off a woolly mammoth: I made stock with the tough pheasant, the roasting vegetables and the half baked potato. I added more onion and some garlic and some bayleaves and black peppercorns. Then I drained the stock and made cous cous. I took the now tender meat off the pheasant and diced it to add to the cous cous. Then I froze it into six or seven meal-sized portions. Simples. Oh, and I had the cold sausages for supper with a bit of cheese and a tomato. That's not what recipe books tell you, but it's what most real cooking is about.

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