Pheasant Schnitzel

pheasant, schnitzel, family, wild game, feast over fire
pheasant, schnitzel, family, wild game, feast over fire
pheasant, schnitzel, family, wild game, feast over fire

It’s week four of our #familyfeasts and we are cooking up pheasant schnitzels. I know the season for pheasant has just finished but there’s still plenty around to buy up for the freezer.

Through our weekly family inspired recipes, we want to encourage the whole family to get involved for at least one meal a week in the great outdoors, no matter what time of year. Throughout lockdown, we’ll be sharing a new recipe every Tuesday afternoon.

Turning a pheasant breast into a schnitzel may seem like a little bit of a cop out, but it creates a good building block to lots of other dishes and is a winner with the kids.

 

There are a plethora of ways we can serve these pheasant schnitzels, one of our favourites is to lay the golden schnitzels onto some sauerkraut along with a good dollop of wild garlic seed caper tartar sauce. Once the schnitzels are cooked you could tuck them into a brioche bun to create a pretty epic burger, serve on rice for an alternative to katsu or how about with a fried egg and buttered wild greens. However you dish these little gems up, we hope that they will become a regular fixture around your dinner table.

 

If you can’t get hold of pheasant breasts or would rather use a different meat, they could be substituted for pigeon, partridge or duck breasts. You could even use thin steaks from either venison leg or the back strap. These all make for handsome replacements to the pheasant breasts, we just happened to have some some in the freezer.

 

We remove the mini fillet from the breast as it can be a little chewy due to the tendon that runs through the centre of it. This can be used for a stir fry with lots of crunchy vegetables to mask the chewiness a little. 

Alternatively you can freeze the mini fillets and wait until you have a good quantity, defrost them and remove the tendon. If you grip the loose end of the tendon between your fingers and then pull it through the tines of a fork. You should be able to pull the ligament free from the mini fillet without tearing too much of the meat. Once you have removed the ligaments these mini fillets are perfect for marinading and grilling over hot coals.

 

We are using just plain old white breadcrumbs for the pheasant schnitzels, but this could be anything you have knocking around in your bread bin to be honest. Using different types of bread in your crumbs will create a slightly different taste but overall won’t be detrimental to the finished dish.

 

Cook the schnitzels on a medium high heat to get those breadcrumbs nice and golden. We want the crumbs to be beautifully crunchy and the meat to be just cooked through. Don’t forget – Temperature not Time, always use an Instant Read Thermometer and our Core Temperature Guide to help you cook the most succulent and moist pheasant breasts. 

Ingredients

Serves

4

4 Pheasant breasts

2 Small handfuls of ground ivy or 2 sprigs of sage, leaves removed 

Zest of ½ a lemon

150g seasoned flour

2-3 eggs

250g breadcrumbs

1-2 tsp Salt Box BBQ Barn Blend, optional

A good drizzle or rapeseed oil

Method

STEP ONE

Remove the mini fillet from the pheasant breast and either use it for another dish or freeze to use at some point later. Remove the skin from the pheasant breast too.

 

Butterfly the pheasant breast by running a knife flat down the edge of the breast to open it up like a book. Check each breast for any shot and remove if you come across any.

 

Place between two sheets of greaseproof paper and gently bash out with a rolling pin

STEP TWO

Place the flour into a shallow bowl.

 

In another bowl whisk the eggs together.

 

Place the breadcrumbs into a third bowl and mix with finely chopped ground ivy or sage and the lemon zest. stir through the Salt Box BBQ barn blend if using it.

 

Take each pheasant breast and place in the seasoned flour, coating all over and shaking off the excess.

 

Then dip into the beaten egg allowing the excess to drip off.

 

Finally place the pheasant into the breadcrumbs, turn in the crumb until evenly coated. Repeat until all the pheasant is breadcrumbed. Set aside on a plate.

STEP THREE

Set up your fire so that you have a good bed of embers over half of your pit. This will generate a decent amount of heat for frying but also give you good heat control by having a cooler section if things get a bit lively.

 

Place a skillet on the grill rack over the bed of embers to warm up. Drizzle a tablespoon of the rapeseed oil into the base of the pan. If the pan is hot enough the oil should shimmer, if it’s too hot it will smoke and will need moving to a cooler spot away from the fire.

 

Fry the pheasant until just cooked through and golden brown on both sides. Use a temperature probe to check the core temp hits 70.c, remember it’s always best when cooking over fire to cook to temperature not time.

 

Set aside the pheasant on a warm plate to rest for a minute or two.

 

 

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Things to Note

We remove the mini fillet from the breast as it can be a little chewy due to the tendon that runs through the centre of it. This can be used for a stir fry with lots of crunchy vegetables to mask the chewiness a little. 

If you grip the loose end of the tendon between your fingers and then pull it through the tines of a fork. You should be able to pull the ligament free from the mini fillet without tearing too much of the meat. Once you have removed the ligaments these mini fillets are perfect for marinading and grilling over hot coals.

 

Cook the schnitzels on a medium high heat to get those breadcrumbs nice and golden

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