The Yorkshire Pasta Company tortiglioni really suits this succulent pheasant ragù, the deep grooves help the meat to ‘cling’ whilst the tomato seeps inside the tubes. Finished with a crumble of Shepherd’s Purse powerful Northern Blue, this is a tremendous dish.
I love making meat-based sauces in the slow cooker, but you could create it in a high sided pan on the hob, just make sure the pheasant legs are covered at all times. Game is one of the healthiest and most sustainable meats available, and in this pheasant is probably the most versatile. The legs really suit slow and low cooking revealing tender, soft meat which is full of flavour.
4 Pheasant legs
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 Large leeks
1 tablespoon tomato purée
150ml Vegetable stock
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
Large handful of both rosemary and basil, finely chopped
1 bag of The Yorkshire Pasta Company No. 04 Tortiglioni
100g Shepherd’s Purse Northern Blue
Step by Step Instructions
Slice the washed and trimmed leeks into fine rings, then add to the slow cooker with all the other ingredients except the stock. Warm the oil in a skillet or frying pan over a medium high heat, quickly seal the pheasant legs on either side for a minute or two, without allowing them to colour too much.
Add the pheasant legs to the slow cooker and make sure they are well coated in the vegetables, herbs, and liquid. Add the stock carefully, you may not need it all at this stage but might add more later in the cooking process. I usually add half now, and then judge again 3-4 hours in. Stir well add a little sea salt and black pepper, then ensure the meat is submerged before placing the lid on your cooker or pan.
Set the slow cooker to high and a timer for six hours! Once up to heat it will just bubble away gently, but do try to check it half way through. About 30 minutes before you want to serve the dish lift the lid and carefully pick each pheasant leg up by the bone. Using a small fork gently push the meat off. There are tendons, which after cooking go hard and appear like sharp, thin bones. Carefully check the dish that you have removed all of these!
Then stir the soft, succulent meat through the sauce, and allow to cook a little longer while you prepare your pasta. Simply bring a large pan of water to the boil, add the pasta and boil gently for 10-12 minutes. Drain and toss in a little extra-virgin olive oil.
Divide the pasta between warm bowls, spoon over the pheasant ragù, and then crumble a little Northern Blue on top. Enjoy with a simple green salad and a refreshing drink!