Fine Food – Veg, Meat and Do it Yourself

The Brown Family is a very food centric bunch.  Its the one area where taste and ethics leads over price.

We love our food, but our meals were a little too meat centric.  While we grow our own herbs, and would like to grow our own veg, its something we have not got round to yet.

Good quality vegetables are not expensive, and in order to make us eat more, we have recently started to get a veg box from a local farmer.  A good selection of organic vegetables including some strange ones that we had never heard of, now has us reaching for the cook books to find new exciting ways to prepare them.

This now means at least once a week we have a meat free day, and we really look forward to it.

We try to buy ethically raised meat and eggs, and while it costs more, it can mean you eat fine meat less often but appreciate it more.

People today are very disconnected from there food.  People don’t want to know that chicken or steak there tucking into was once a real living animal.  All they want is food that is quick and cheap.  If people want to eat meat they should realise what is involved.

Preparing you own, meat or fish is one way of connecting with your food more.  How many people are willing to prepare and gut a fish, or bird?

Well with this being game season, there were lots of Pheasants going free, so this last week we have had a brace of Pheasants hanging in the garage.  Preparing and gutting a fish is pretty easy and something I have no problem with, but this would be the first time I had prepared a Pheasant.

Caroline was on plucking duties, which was harder then you might think.  Only once she had finished did mum Brown suggest we should have briefly soaked the bird to make the plucking easier and less messy.

Gutting was my job.  First job was to remove the feet, wing tips and head.  Then removing the neck.  Here you discover how greedy your bird has been, in this case the crop was stuffed full with corn, which all had to be cleaned out.  Then the hard part which is the bit people have trouble with.  Cutting out and clearing the body cavity. This just takes care and a willingness to get your hands in there to separate the guts from the main part of the carcass.

Once the body cavity is clear, your Pheasant now looks like it could have come from a Supermarket.

Then it was a knob of butter, fresh carrots, turnips, in the pot on the hob, then after a few minutes in with the pair of Pheasants, and a glass of water, or wine if you have it.  Then own with the lid and in the oven.  Cook for about 40 minutes, then remove the lid for another 20 minutes, and you have a lovely tasty pot roast.

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