Eco-friendly meat? Try pheasant

I know it is supposed to be Veganuary but I’m going to stick my oar out and suggest that eating game is a sustainable way of getting your protein. I’m writing this recipe now as the pheasant shooting season ends at the end of the month, so I’d recommend you fill your freezer during January. The pheasant in this recipe could also be substituted for a couple of partridge.

Why game, and in particular pheasant? Well it is an almost wild meat (it may have been fed some corn), it’s low fat, it has lived outside as nature intended, it’s probably local and has not been shipped for thousands of miles and will have suffered little unnatural stress in life. I would say that it’s a far more virtuous meat than a supermarket chicken and it’s not at all expensive – probably about half that of a shop chicken. The only thing that you must be careful of are the little pellets of shot so eat mindfully and spit them out.

I have chosen a recipe which my children love and which is a good introduction to eating game.

Ingredients:
1 pheasant, skinned, legs jointed and breasts cut into bite sized chunks (cut off any fat)
500g tomato passata
100g chorizo sausage, cut into small pieces
1 onion
150ml red wine
1 stick of celery, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tsp paprika
1 sprig of thyme
1 tablespoon olive oil

Method:
1. Fry the pieces of chorizo in the olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan until the oil is released from the sausage.

2. Then add the onion, pepper and celery and cooked until softened.

3. Now add the pheasant pieces and fry until the meat is lightly seared.

4. Then add a teaspoon of paprika and fry for another minute. Now add the wine and boil briefly and then add the passata and a sprig of thyme.

5. Season with plenty of black pepper (you probably won’t need any salt) and put the lid on. Simmer on a low heat for about half an hour until the meat is cooked but still tender.

Serve with some buttery mashed potato and plenty of stir-fried cabbage. It would go well with a glass of Rioja, especially on a cold, dark night.

Serves 4 or 3 hungry people