Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty's Day!

I hope you have a lovely holiday, no matter how you celebrate. It's a warm & gorgeous day here, so I think I'll be celebrating outside. Tonight, after America's Next Top Model of course, I'll be watching one of my favorite Disney, & Irish related, movies: Darby O'Gill & The Little People {1959}.

Who doesn't love a good PG love story with a drunkard father, a leprechaun named King Brian, and loads of jigging thrown into the mix. Also, check out how young Sean Connery looks below:

Irish Food & Cooking: Traditional Irish Cuisine with over 150 Delicious Step-by-Step Recipes from the Emerald Isle by Biddy White Lennon & Georgina Campbell.

Now, I said I would post another recipe from my Irish cookbook & here's today's recommendation: Pheasant with oatmeal stuffing {page 162}. I made this for our Christmas Eve dinner {unfortunately I didn't think to take any pictures} & it was one of the best things I have ever eaten if I do say so myself. It's a great alternative if you're not a fan of corned beef & cabbage {which is totally understandable}. Be warned: it has a lot of butter in it {obviously}.

Ingredients {Serves 4-6}
  • 2 oven-ready pheasants {I actually used Cornish Game Hen, which are usually easier to find}
  • 6 unsmoked streaky {fatty} bacon rashers {strips}
  • 1/4 cup softened butter {you can substitute it out for soy margarine, if lactose is an issue}
  • 2 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • salt & ground black pepper
  • watercress or rocket, to garnish {I skipped this step}
Ingredients for the stuffing:
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • peasant {or Cornish Game Hen} livers, finely chopped {the Hens I bought didn't come with livers, so only feel you have to do this step if the livers come with the bird}
  • 1 cup pinhead {sometimes sold under the name 'Irish'} oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted {see soy margarine comment above}

1. Prepare the stuffing. Put the onion & livers into a mixing bowl with the oatmeal {uncooked, it will cook in the oven} & butter. Mix thoroughly & season well with salt & pepper. Add a little cold water to moisten slightly.
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wipe the birds inside & out & divide the stuffing between them, spooning in loosely to allow it to expand during cooking.
3. Use cotton string to truss for cooking {I skipped this part} & lay the uncooked bacon strips over the birds. Spread half the softened butter over them & lay in roasting pan with the remaining butter.
4. Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes, basting frequently. Ten minutes before the end of cooking times, remove the bacon, baste the birds, & dredge with seasoned flour. Baste again & return to the oven to brown.
5. When cooked remove the trussing string & place birds on a serving dish & keep warm.
6. Garnish with bacon strips & watercress when served.

To make the gravy:
  • After you have removed the birds from the roasting pan, pour all of the fat out of the pan & sprinkle in the remaining flour. Stir well to dislodge anything in the bottom of the pan. Gradually blend in the chicken stock, season, & bring to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes & put in a gravy boat.
Enjoy! Let me know how it comes out!

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