Remove the pheasant breasts from the bone, chop the carcasses, and put in a saucepan of water. Bring to the boil. Skim the foam from the surface, and simmer. Reduce until you have about
When ready to prepare the dish, which should not now take much more than 40 to 50 minutes, melt the butter, and in it gently cook the onion until soft and golden. Add half the blueberries and all of the elderberries, parsley and garlic, and once the onion is soft, add the crumbled black pudding, and mix well.
Make a pocket in the pheasant breasts, and fill with the mixture. Wrap them in the cabbage leaves, and tie with thread. Dust with the flour, and fry on all sides. Season and place in a shallow earthenware casserole dish.
Pour in the sherry and the stock, and add the bay leaf. Cook in the oven at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for about 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, trim the celeriac and cut into 6 rounds. Blanch them for 10 minutes, then brush with oil or butter and cook in the top of the oven until golden brown.
To serve, put some celeriac on each plate, cut each pheasant breast in half, and place the two pieces at an angle on the celeriac, with the meat juices from the pan around it and extra berries and parsley for garnish.
You can replace the black pudding with coarse Lincolnshire or other sausage meat, crumbling and lightly frying before you add it to the stuffing. Dried cranberries, blueberries or cherries, soaked in a little brandy, can be used to replace the fresh berries, if you prefer. For a more homely version of this dish, pot-roast two whole pheasants, stuffed with the berries, herbs and sausage meat, and serve with braised cabbage and roasted celeriac chunks.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.