It is hunting season, and we have a plethora of birds. Last year’s attempts at cooking pheasant were mostly unsuccessful. I don’t have a lot of experience preparing game and really struggle not to overcook it. This year, I have plenty of birds, giving me many opportunities to try, try again. I decided to start with a basic pheasant stock this year, just in time for soup season!
3 carrots, chopped into large chunks
3 celery stalks, chopped into large chunks
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 clove garlic, peeled
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
leftover bones and meet from the birds (I used bones from about 4 birds)
1. Prepare your vegetables. Set aside.
2. Prepare your leftover parts. While cleaning the birds, we set aside the cleaner looking carcasses. I broke some of the bones to add flavor to our stock.
3. Place bird pieces into a baking dish, add the vegetables, and roast at 400 for 45 minutes to an hour.
4. Once everything has finished roasting, place spices in bottom of stock pot. Add everything from the baking dish into the stock pot. Add enough water to just cover all of the meat and vegetables.
5. Bring everything to a low simmer and let cook for 4-7 hours. Check flavor throughout the cooking process for readiness and flavoring.
Results: I ended up with a dark stock that closely resembled chicken stock. To improve the flavor, I will use more vegetables next time. I used fresh produce from a local market, but would still add about another half onion, two more garlic cloves and a few more carrots and celery. I have stored my pheasant stock in the freezer and plan to use it in soups throughout the winter.
What do you make with your seasonal game?