- 25g dried porcini mushrooms
- 100ml boiling water
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 large pheasant, cut into 4 pieces
- 50g lean smoked back bacon, cut into cubes
- 2 celery sticks, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 100g chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 150g yellow split peas
- 250ml red wine
- 300ml chicken or vegetable stock
1. Put the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl. Pour over the boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, flameproof casserole over a moderate heat. Add the pheasant pieces and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side to brown well. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
3. Add the bacon to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until well browned. Add the celery, carrots and onion with the rest of the oil and stir to combine. Reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 5 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften.
4. Stir in the chestnut mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes longer, then stir in the split peas.
5. Drain the soaked porcini mushrooms (reserve the soaking liquid) and add to the recipe. Slowly pour in the soaking liquid, leaving any sediment in the bowl. Add the red wine and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
6. Return the pheasant joints to the casserole, cover and cook for a further 20–30 minutes until the pheasant is tender. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
Nigel holds exclusive classes in his own cookery school kitchen for more information log on to www.nigelbrownchef.co.uk