“And I saw lightning across the sacred mountains and the dance of the turtle doves.” -Ian Tyson
Isn’t it magical how in one bite, food has a way of transporting you to somewhere rugged and untamed; or, if the mood is right, back to a favorite childhood memory? I grew up in a family where the men and women loved to fish and hunt, and as a result I’m not unfamiliar with wild game being served at the kitchen table.
Fall is the time for warming, life infusing foods. It is the time of apples, leeks, hardy greens, squashes, and cozying up to the fire place with a good book in hand. If you are a game fan, it is the time of venison, pheasant and chukkar, and from the sea, wild coho salmon. In the face of blustery days, dark knights, and bitter rain, it is the time to eat some wonderfully good food, carefully prepared.
I am obsessed with getting outdoors and harvesting my own food – both can often be taken for granted. I like treading through the high desert terrain of Eastern Washington with my 20 gage Beretta shotgun in hand and warm breezes of sage brush encircling me. This recipe was inspired by the weekends pheasant hunt and is the perfect cure-all for anyone resisting the changing seasons and has the feeling of warmth and comfort that comes from the lingering taste of a fresh IPA.
Seared Pheasant with Wild Mushroom, Leek, & Pancetta Farro // serves 2
For the Farro:
1 cup cooked Farro, prepared according to directions
1 leek, halved and sliced thinly
2 cups wild mushrooms, stems removed, and sliced
1 ounce pancetta
2 teaspoons avocado oil or olive oil
In a large saute pan, add 2 teaspoons oil, leek and mushrooms, season with salt. Over medium heat, sauté for 6 minutes or until leeks are translucent in color. Add pancetta and cook 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, combine with cooked farro and set aside.
For the Pheasant:
1 tablespoon avocado oil or olive oil
1 whole Pheasant (2 breasts, legs and thighs) skin removed and patted dry
1 teaspoon sage, minced
1 teaspoon thyme, minced
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup IPA – I recommend Deschutes Brewery Fresh Squeezed
In a shallow pan combine the sage, thyme, salt, pepper, and orange zest. Generously coat the pheasant pieces in the seasoning mixture.
Using the same large sauté pan from the mushroom, leek, and pancetta mixture bring to high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil, scraping up the browned pieces that remain, and add pheasant searing about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook 2 minutes. Turn the pheasant pieces over and add the IPA, cooking about 3 more minutes more or until juices run clear when cut with a knife. Remove from heat and allow the to rest 3 minutes before serving.
For the Brussels Sprouts:
2 cups Brussels Sprouts, quartered
drizzle of avocado oil or olive oil
sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 450*F
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, spread brussels sprouts evenly. Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, making sure not to overcook. Remove from oven and set aside.
Plate the seared pheasant over wild mushroom, leek, and farro mixture and serve with roasted brussels sprouts. Save the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate up to 4 days. Enjoy!