Roulade of Pheasant with Mushrooms and Steamed White Cabbage

A Challenging Bird

Pheasant is not the simplest bird to prepare. It is too big to take the approach we prefer for partridge and it’s too low in fat to create a Faisan Rôti. The choice is between applying bacon on the outside and stuffing the bird. Both are not among our favourites: the bacon will overwhelm the taste of the pheasant and an old fashioned stuffing with chestnut, sausage meat, butter and onions is simply too much for us: we prefer a light, tasty cuisine. Our approach is to make a small roulade using the breast of pheasant. This is probably the driest part of the bird, but combining the meat with mushrooms will make it tender and moist. The mushrooms and thyme in the roulade support the delicate game-taste of the pheasant, making it into a most enjoyable dish for November and December.
Duxelles is an essential element of a Beef Wellington. We make a variation by using mushrooms, butter and thyme only. We don’t want the mushrooms too finely chopped, see picture, but feel free to give it more of a duxelles texture.
The right internal temperature for pheasant is between 60° and 65° Celsius (between 140° and 150° Fahrenheit). Best is to set your meat thermometer to 60° Celsius and allow the roulade to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. This way the meat will be lovely pink.

Wine Pairing

Both red and white are possible. The wine should not be too powerful, given the delicate taste of the pheasant. If you go for white, then Chardonnay and Chenin Blanc are a good choice. Given the white cabbage with cumin Riesling is also a nice idea. If red, then we would suggest a Beaujolais or a Pinot Noir.

What You Need

  • 2 Fillets of Pheasant
  • For the Duxelles
    • 150 grams of (Chestnut) Button Mushrooms
    • 50 grams of Porcini
    • Thyme
    • Butter
    • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Crème Fraiche
  • Mustard
  • Chicken stock
  • For the Vegetables
    • White cabbage
    • Cumin
    • Excellent Olive oil

What You Do

Clean and chop the mushrooms and add to a warm pan with butter. The idea is to reduce the volume of the mushrooms but not to fry them. This may take 20 minutes. Halfway add the thyme. Take two sheet of foil and put one below a fillet and one on top. The former skin side of the breast should be visible. We use a small bottle to flatten the fillet. This does not require a lot of strength and be careful not to create holes in the meat. You’re looking for doubling the size, so not as thin as the veal for a Wiener Schnitzel or a Scaloppini a la Milanese. Now figure out how to combine the two flattened fillets, making sure you have some overlap. Spread the mushrooms on top, roll it up and create the roulade. Wrap it in foil and transfer to the refrigerator, allowing for the flavours to integrate and the roulade to set.
Heat your oven to 120° Celsius (250° Fahrenheit). Warm a heavy iron pan, add some olive oil and gently colour the roulade. Then transfer to the oven, add some butter and wait until the centre has reached 60° Celsius. When the roulade is ready, wrap it in aluminium foil and let it rest. Make a sauce of the cooking juices, mustard, crème fraiche and perhaps some chicken stock. Steam the cabbage for five minutes, add excellent olive oil and crushed cumin seeds and mix. Add the sauce to a warm plate, slice the roulade and serve with the cabbage.

 

Roulade of Turkey with Chestnuts, served with Brussels Sprouts and Madeira Sauce

 

Time to start cooking for friends!

This exciting dish is a combination of classic ingredients, things you love to eat in December: turkey, Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts. Our version of Roulade of Turkey with Chestnuts, served with Brussels Sprouts and a Madeira Sauce is tasty, tender and juicy. The pancetta and the chestnuts in the roulade combine extremely well with the sprouts (tip of the day: steam Brussels sprouts, let cool and set aside. Warm butter gently in a skillet and add sprouts, crumbled chestnuts and slices of bacon or pancetta. Bit of nutmeg on top and a it’s ready to serve.)
The dish does require a bit of preparation, so make sure you start early or even better, start the day before.

Wine Pairing

We enjoyed our roulade with a bottle of 2016 Malbec, produced by Kaiken, Argentina. The wine comes with a hint of plum. It is soft, intense purple-red, has velvety tannins and is round in its taste. This combines very well with the sweetness of the chestnuts and the Madeira. In general you are looking for an intense but not overpowering red wine, one that is both soft and present. 

What you need (Chestnut Butter)

  • 250 grams of fresh Chestnuts
  • Butter

With a sharp knife make a cross in the chestnuts. It doesn’t really matter where you do this; it’s just to help you remove the outer shell later on. Wash the chestnuts and cook them for 10 minutes or so. Cool and remove the shell. Transfer back to a pan of water and cook them for another 30 minutes or so. Let cool and peel of the skin of the chestnuts. This requires patience! Blender half of the chestnuts with some butter until you have a nice, tasty chestnut butter.

What you need (filling)

  • 350 grams of Chestnut Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • 50 grams of Pancetta
  • Cognac
  • Chestnut butter
  • Chestnuts

Clean the mushrooms and cut into smaller chunks. Fry the mushrooms for a few minutes and then add the very thinly sliced pancetta. Fry for another few minutes. Add the cognac and allow for the alcohol to evaporate. Crumble the chestnuts. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and combine with the chestnut butter and the crumbled chestnuts. Season with a bit of pepper. You will now have a dough like mixture of mushrooms and chestnuts. Let cool before using it.

What you need (Roulade of Turkey)

  • Two whole legs of Turkey
  • Pancetta
  • Filling
  • Kitchen twine and needle

Remove the bone from the legs and ‘unfold’ the meat, making it longer. Combine the two parts into one, making sure they are overlapping and that the meat on the outside is covered with skin. This can be a bit of a puzzle! Make a strip of pancetta from left to right, one-third from the bottom. Put the filling on top of the strip and then spread it out, making sure the top and bottom are not covered. Put 4 or 6 strings of kitchen twine underneath the roulade and start rolling. Not too tight. We closed the two sides of the roulade using a meat-stitching needle. After all, the filling needs to be inside the roulade. Wrap the roulade in plastic foil and keep in the refrigerator for 6 hours minimum.
Ready to cook? Fry the roulade to give it a nice colour and then transfer to an 180˚ Celsius oven. It’s ready when the centre has reached a temperature of 80˚ Celsius. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. In the mean time gently fry the steamed Brussels sprouts and in parallel create the Madeira sauce.

What you need (Madeira Sauce)

  • Chicken stock
  • Carrot
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaf
  • Madeira (medium dry Madeira is fine. Keep the dry Madeira as an aperitif)

Creating a true Madeira sauce actually requires a Sauce Espagnol (which is funny because Madeira is part of Portugal) but we take a short cut by pimping chicken stock. Cook the stock with a few slices of carrot, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. After 30 minutes you will have the most powerful chicken stock ever. Pass through a sieve. Combine Madeira, stock and the juices of the cooked Turkey in a pan, reduce the liquid for 10 minutes or so and then stir in two or three lumps of very cold butter.

Serve two slices of Turkey Roulade per person with the sauce and some Brussels sprouts. A touch of black pepper on the turkey and some fresh nutmeg (from Sri Lanka, of course!) on the sprouts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

 

 

 

Last Year’s Special – 32

Roulade of Turkey with Chestnuts, served with a glass of Kaiken Estate Malbec.

Time to start cooking for friends!

This Year’s Special is a combination of classic ingredients, things you love to eat this time of year: turkey, Brussels sprouts and chestnuts. Our version of Roulade of Turkey with Chestnuts, served with Brussels Sprouts and a Madeira Sauce is very tasty, tender and juicy. The pancetta and the chestnuts in the roulade combine extremely well with the sprouts (tip of the day: steam Brussels sprouts, let cool and set aside. Warm butter gently in a skillet and add sprouts, crumbled chestnuts and slices of bacon or pancetta. Bit of nutmeg on top and a it’s ready to serve.)
The dish does require a bit of preparation, so make sure you start early or even better, start the day before.

We enjoyed our roulade with a bottle of 2016 Malbec, produced by Kaiken, Argentina. The wine comes with a hint of plum. It is soft, intense purple-red, has velvety tannins and is round in its taste. This combines very well with the sweetness of the chestnuts and the Madeira. In general you are looking for an intense but not overpowering red wine, one that is both soft and present. 

Here is what you need (Chestnut Butter):

  • 250 grams of fresh chestnuts
  • Butter

With a sharp knife make a cross in the chestnuts. It doesn’t really matter where you do this; it’s just to help you remove the outer shell later on. Wash the chestnuts and cook them for 10 minutes or so. Cool and remove the shell. Transfer back to a pan of water and cook them for another 30 minutes or so. Let cool and peel of the skin of the chestnuts. This requires patience! Blender half of the chestnuts with some butter until you have a nice, tasty chestnut butter.

Here is what you need (filling):

  • 350 grams of Chestnut Mushrooms
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • 50 grams of pancetta
  • Cognac
  • Chestnut butter
  • Chestnuts

Clean the mushrooms and cut into smaller chunks. Fry the mushrooms for a few minutes and then add the very thinly sliced pancetta. Fry for another few minutes. Add the cognac and allow for the alcohol to evaporate. Crumble the chestnuts. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl and combine with the chestnut butter and the crumbled chestnuts. Season with a bit of pepper. You will now have a dough like mixture of mushrooms and chestnuts. Let cool before using it.

Here is what you need (Roulade of Turkey):

  • Two whole legs of Turkey
  • Pancetta
  • Filling
  • Kitchen twine and needle

Remove the bone from the legs and ‘unfold’ the meat, making it longer. Combine the two parts into one, making sure they are overlapping and that the meat on the outside is covered with skin. This can be a bit of a puzzle! Make a strip of pancetta from left to right, one-third from the bottom. Put the filling on top of the strip and then spread it out, making sure the top and bottom are not covered. Put 4 or 6 strings of kitchen twine underneath the roulade and start rolling. Not too tight. We closed the two sides of the roulade using a meat-stitching needle. After all, the filling needs to be inside the roulade. Wrap the roulade in plastic foil and keep in the refrigerator for 6 hours minimum.
Ready to cook? Fry the roulade to give it a nice colour and then transfer to an 180˚ Celsius oven. It’s ready when the centre has reached a temperature of 80˚ Celsius. Leave to rest for 30 minutes. In the mean time gently fry the steamed Brussels sprouts and in parallel create the Madeira sauce.

Here is what you need (Madeira Sauce):

  • Chicken stock
  • Carrot
  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaf
  • Madeira (medium dry Madeira is fine. Keep the dry Madeira as an aperitif)

Creating a true Madeira sauce actually requires a Sauce Espagnol (which is funny because Madeira is part of Portugal) but we take a short cut by pimping chicken stock. Cook the stock with a few slices of carrot, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf. After 30 minutes you will have the most powerful chicken stock ever. Pass through a sieve. Combine Madeira, stock and the juices of the cooked Turkey in a pan, reduce the liquid for 10 minutes or so and then stir in two or three lumps of very cold butter.

Serve two slices of Turkey Roulade per person with the sauce and some Brussels sprouts. A touch of black pepper on the turkey and some fresh nutmeg (from Sri Lanka, of course!) on the sprouts.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!