Pheasant Pheasant Pate’ that sumptuous, opulent, glorious bite of heaven! I was fortunate to be invited to pheasant shoot last season by a dear friend, formidable upland gunner, and trainer of world class Spinone Italiano breed of dogs. The Spinone was originally bred as a versatile gun dog. To this day, the breed still masters that purpose.
My original plan for the pheasants our group bagged that day was to make dinner for a family member with a constant longing for pheasant that runs long into his years as a very young man working in Kansas. Nearly a year had passed since I offered this still undelivered gift, and I am facing Christmas when we will be together celebrating. I decided I would turn these two birds into a dish for his Christmas Eve Buffet, and cocktail hour.
I brined the birds for a day in sea salt water, beer, fruit, herbs, and pickling spices. I developed the following recipe, which not only was very simple, but was an amazing hit Christmas Eve!
Meat trimmed from 2 pheasants that have been brined
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 tablespoon chopped garlic
1/3 cup Grand Marnier
1/3 cup chopped parsley and rosemary, mixed
salt & pepper to taste
1 tablespoon mustard
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
Heavy Cream – enough to make silky smooth
Breads, nuts, sliced apples, and dried cranberries to serve with pate’
- Remove skin and trim meat from 2 cold brined pheasants.
- Cut into manageable sized pieces, and put through meat grinder with small to medium holes.
- In a medium saute’ pan, add butter, onion and garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.
- Add the ground pheasant meat and cook through.
- Deglaze with Grand Marnier. Cook till liquid is reduced to half the volume.
- In the bowl of a food processor add cooked pheasant mixture and parsley, rosemary, salt, pepper, mustard, and mayonnaise. Process until very smooth, adding heavy cream if necessary.
- Pour into a pan or a plastic wrap lined mold (for easier release from mold).
- Place covered in a refrigerator for 1-2 hours or until fully set.
- Serve with Breads, nuts, sliced apples, and dried cranberries.