Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Supper - Pappardelle with Pheasant Ragù

Ever since Jared came home from a hunt with a couple of pheasants, I have been racking my brain to find an interesting take on these gamey birds. I was finally inspired after a tasty meal at John Besh's Domenica in New Orleans, LA. His tagliatelle with rabbit and porcini is rich and flavorful. The tomato-based sauce forms the perfect base for the lean meat.

With that in mind, I thought a ragù might be nice. And indeed it was. It works great as a hearty meal without being too heavy during this ridiculous summer heat.
Another picture of Jared and his dead things . . .
  • 1 wild pheasant, quartered
  • 1/4 lb pancetta, diced
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 10 oz cremini or porcini mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 1 (14 oz) can of whole peeled tomatoes, with juices, crushed by hand
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup light, dry red wine
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 lb dried pappardelle pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Using a paper towel, pat dry the pieces of pheasant.
  2. Lightly coat the pieces with flour seasoned with salt and black pepper.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron pot.
  4. Brown the pheasant in the pot (3-4 minutes per side). Set aside.
  5. Add 1 additional tablespoon of olive oil to the pot.
  6. Add the carrots, celery, onion, and pancetta.
  7. Sauté for about 10 minutes until the vegetables soften.
  8. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Cook for 1 additional minute.
  9. Deglaze the pan by adding 1 cup of light, dry red wine.
  10. Increase heat and scrape the bits from bottom of pan.
  11. Add bay leaf, sage, rosemary, thyme, and crushed red pepper.
  12. Return the pheasants to the pot.
  13. Add tomatoes and chicken stock.
  14. Bring the sauce to a slow rumble, then reduce heat.
  15. Simmer for 1 hour.
  16. Prepare the pappardelle pasta according to the package instructions.
  17. Salt and black pepper to taste.
  18. Serve over pasta and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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