Roast pheasant

Yield: 6 servings

Measure Ingredient

Fesaunt rost. Lete a fesaunt blode in the mouth, and lete hym blede to deth; & pulle hym, and draw hym, & kutt a-wey the necke by the body, & the legges by the kne, and perbuille hym, and larde hym, and putt the knese in the vent: and rost him, & reise hym vpp, hys legges & hys wynges as off an henne; and no sauce butt salt.

2 young pheasants 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 small shallots, peeled 2 rashers streaky bacon A little seasoned flour for dredging Sea salt

We are more humane than our ancestors where slaughtering pheasants is concerned, but the preparation of the birds for plain roasting is probably much the same. Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

Put half the butter and a shallot inside each pheasant and cover the breast with a rasher of bacon. Wrap each bird in a separate piece of foil. Then put them side by side on a rack in a roasting-tin and roast in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove them from the oven, take off the foil and dredge with seasoned flour, baste and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, by which time they should be golden-brown. Serve with coarse sea salt in small ramekins or egg cups as a condiment or sauce.

Flavouring for Game Birds: Other 'sauces' were sometimes offered with game birds. One for pheasant consisted of white sugar with mustard powder, blended with vinegar until semi-liquid. Another, for a roasted crane, was made by combining ground black pepper, ground ginger, mustard powder, salt and vinegar. A 'sauce' of minced parsley and onions with ground garlic and vinegar was suitable for pigeons.

All these and several others may have been ways of flavouring leftovers or meat cooked for expediency--for example, needing short-term preserving-- because the flesh was almost always minced before the strong 'sauce' was mixed in.

from The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black Chapter 6, "The Court of Richard II" posted by Tiffany Hall-Graham From: Tiffany Hall-Graham Date: 05-27-94 Submitted By DALE SHIPP On 04-20-95

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