- 1oz. dried wild Italian mushrooms or 1/4 lb. fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup warm water, if using dried mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, if using fresh mushrooms
- 1 (2-1/2 to 3-lb.) domestic pheasant
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup brandy
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 3 fresh sage leaves or 1/2 teaspoon rubbed sage
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1/3 cup dry Marsala wine or port
- 2 cups canned crushed Italian-style or whole tomatoes
Don't let this seemingly long list get to you. It is worth the wait. Make sure everything is prepped and measured out ready to go.
- If using dried mushrooms, soak in warm water 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms, reserving liquid.
- Strain mushroom liquid. Rinse mushrooms under cold running water. Squeeze to remove as much moisture as possible.
- If using fresh mushrooms, saute in 2 tablespoons oil or until golden; set aside.
- Divide pheasant into 4 pieces. Wash and dry pheasant pieces throughly.
- Melt butter with 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy casserole. When butter foams, add pheasant. Brown on all sides over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add brandy. When brandy is reduced by half, add carrot, onion, celery, sage and parsley. Saute until lightly browned.
- Add Marsala or port and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.
- Press tomatoes through a food mill or sieve, to remove seeds. Stir tomato pulp into casserole.
- Cover casserole and reduce heat. If using dried mushrooms, add to casserole with reserved liquid.
- Simmer 50 to 60 minutes or until pheasant is tender. Turn meat occasionally during cooking.
- Cook uncovered 10 to 15 minutes longer.
- If using sauteed fresh mushrooms, add the sauce during last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Place pheasant on a warm platter. Taste and adjust sauce for seasoning, then spoon over pheasant. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Source: Biba Caggiano-Northern Italian Cooking page 87