Pheasant Pate, Country-Style

This pate makes a delicious appetizer for a dinner party or an easy-to-serve snack on toast. Pheasant Pate takes some time to prepare, but it is well worth making.small pheasant

1 oz. butter

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 bacon slices, finely chopped

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 oz. fresh white breadcrumbs

8 oz. pork sausage meat

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

1 teaspoon grated orange rind

2 tablespoons chopped pistachio nuts

2 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and finely chopped

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons brandy

Using a sharp knife, cut the pheasant in half.

In a large frying-pan or flameproof casserole, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the pheasant halves. Reduce the heat to low and cook the pheasant halves, turning occasionally, for 35 to 40 minutes or until they are cooked. Test by piercing the breast with a sharp knife or skewer. If the juices run clear, the bird is cooked. With a slotted spoon, remove the pheasant halves from the pan or casserole and place them on a chopping board.

Leave them to cool.

Pour off’ most of the fat in the pan or casserole so that only a thin film remains.

Add the bacon, onion and garlic and return the pan or casserole to moderate heat. Fry, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes.

Remove the pan or casserole from the heat and drain the bacon mix-ture on kitchen paper towels.

With a sharp knife, remove the pheasant meat from the bones. Discard the skin, bones and gristle. Cut half of the meat into small pieces and set it aside.

Mix the remaining meat with the bacon, onion and garlic mixture and put it through a mincer .

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 375°F (Gas Mark 5, 190 C).

In a large mixing bowl, combine the minced pheasant and bacon mixture, the breadcrumbs, sausage meat, lemon and orange rinds, pistachio nuts, mushrooms, salt, pepper and the reserved pheasant pieces. Using your hands, mix all of the ingredients together. Add the egg and brandy and mix well to blend.

Spoon the pate into a 2-pint baking dish. Cover it with a double layer of aluminium foil.

Place the dish in a roasting tin and pour in enough boiling water to come about 1-inch up the sides of the dish. Place the tin in the oven and bake for 5 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to moderate 350CF (Gas Mark 4, 180°C) and continue baking for 1 hour.

Remove the roasting tin from the oven and remove the dish from the tin. Leave the pate to cool to room temperature and then place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

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