All you need is...
You may think that eating seasonally through the winter months require a bit more experience or experiments! But there's so many great options out there that are unique to this cold season. Pheasant is aplenty for this time of year, but it does have a tendency to dry out, as it is quite easily overcooked. I seal them in a very hot pan first to stop them drying out in the process. And of course root vegetables too, like parsnips and carrots. Follow the steps below and the result will be a happy, unique and tasty winter warmer...
Please note this method is an easy way to cook indoors at home, but I use my smoker outside all year round for EVEN better results. Recipe in a future book ;-)
Homemade BBQ Rub:
4 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons paprika
A generous amount of black pepper all over
1 tablespoon sea salt
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
(for approx 1kg brisket, increase measurements for larger size)
Brisket is a tough and hard-working slab of meat, so it needs some time and love to bring out its flavour - but when you do the flavour is incredible. This recipe is very straightforward and easy, so don't feel daunted that the time means too much effort, it's super simple! I prefer to use a smoker but this guide is for an indoor cook! First, put the brisket into a large bowl, leave out of the fridge for around 20-mins. Add all of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well with your hands, blending all of this homemade rub over the meat. Place the rubbed brisket into your slow cooker on HIGH for 2hrs, then turn slow cooker to LOW. Leave cooking on low for 4hrs. Just before you take the brisket out of the slow cooker turn your grill on and up to about 250C. Once at temperature, carefully place the brisket into a deep roasting tray and cook until the outer lay turns into a dark, rich, tree-like "bark". Your brisket should be dark on the outside and near pink in the middle and is now be ready to either slice or shred - either tastes delicious! Serve with corn on the cob and perhaps a homemade slaw - yum.
This is perfect all year round; for summer (best cooked on the BBQ though) or using the above procedure for winter or if you don't have a smoker!
500g Game Meat (venison, pheasant, pigeon, rabbit, partridge etc. locally sourced)
2 tbsp oil (of your choice)
2 slices of bacon (medallions are leaner)
Handful of seasonal mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp plain flour
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp redcurrant jelly
150ml chicken stock
150ml red wine
Salt & Pepper
Seasonal vegetables to serve (depends on the month that you make this!)
[Before beginning this recipe be mindful of which seasonal vegetables you are using and begin cooking these at the appropriate time for best results with your chosen veg]
- Add 1tbsp of your chosen oil to a pan and brown the meat. Remove and put on a plate to one side
- Add the other 1tbsp of oil to the pan and add the chopped shallots, it will take about 5-minutes for them to soften, then add the chopped bacon, sliced mushrooms and finely diced garlic - cook for 3-minutes
- Mix the flour into the onion, bacon, mushroom, garlic combo for 2-minutes, season with salt and pepper and stir in the bay leaf, redcurrant jelly, chicken stock, redcurrant jelly and the wine.
- It will being to boil, add the meat, then let it simmer for 15-minutes.
- Heat your oven to 200C, add everything from the pan into pie dishes and make a small pastry lid for to cover. Of course this isn't the healthiest part of the recipe but the meat isn't entirely cased in pastry, so it's not as bad as a normal pie.
[One big tip I can give you here to make this recipe even healthier and still "pie-like" is to use a small shaped cutter on the puff pastry (perhaps a rabbit or a bird like we did!) and bake them in the oven on a sheet and then place it on top of the meat to serve. I normally call this my "Lie Pie" which I use mostly with my Chicken, Chorizo & Leek Lie Pie.]
- Decorate the top of the pastry and glaze with beaten egg.
- Put completed pie dishes in oven for around 25-minutes and cook vegetables.
- Serve and enjoy a healthier, happier and greener meal!