Gourmet RecipesPheasant ham

Around Christmas, pheasants are abundant and cheap. This recipe of pheasant ham is great to use the pheasant for a festive meal.

Serves 4-6


1/2 tsp coriander seed

1/2 tsp allspice

1/2 tsp juniper

1 tsp black peppercorns

4 bay leaves

1kg salt

4 pheasant breasts

Thoroughly crush all the spices in a mortar and chop up the bay leaves quite finely. On a non-reactive tray or one covered with foil spread a good layer of salt (about 5mm thick). Sprinkle half the crushed spices and chopped bay leaf over it. Lay the pheasant breasts on top. Sprinkle the remaining spices over the breasts and then cover with the remaining salt. They must be well covered, looking like hills with a good fall of snow on them. Leave in a cool place for 24-36 hours. Rinse off the salt very thoroughly, but try and leave some of the crushed spices sticking to the breasts. If not add more. Dry on a rack. The hams are ready to use right away; or you can wrap them in muslin and hang them somewhere cool and dry to age some more; or you can wrap them in cling film and freeze for future use. Serve with a salad of radicchio or batavia dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, vino cotto and salt and pepper.