A nod to 2022 National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic in Nebraska
Since 2013, the Wild Game Cooking Stage at National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic has provided culinary expertise to upland hunters from across the United States to help transform pheasant, quail, and other wild game – “jump steak” (venison) and waterfowl included – into prairie-to-plate creations for family gatherings around the dinner table.
Some of the nation’s most well-known wild game food experts including James Beard award winning chef Hank Shaw, Stacy Lyn Harris, Bri Van Scotter, Danielle Prewett of Wild + Whole, Jack Hennessy of Braising the Wild, and many others have graced the show floor of our annual event. But so to have incredible local restaurants to help serve up pheasant and quail recipes in support of the nation’s largest gathering of upland hunters – Machine Shed (Des Moines), Hell’s Kitchen (Minneapolis), and Charlie’s on the Lake (Omaha), just to name a few.
Highlighting a specific restaurant who recently offered Nebraskans an incredible take on fresh pheasant, head chef Amanda Sheeler of V. Mertz in Omaha put together an enticing recipe for Pheasant au Vin Jaune. We all owe it to the quarry we pursue to prepare the highest quality meals possible for our friends and family; the following creation by V. Mertz is the pinnacle of perfection, so give it a try!
Recipe: Pheasant au Vin Jaune
- 6 pheasant breasts with skin on
- ¼ Cup Salt
- ½ Cup Sugar
- 1-pound fresh morel mushrooms
- 1 Shallot
- ¼ lb Butter
- 3 cups Vin Jaune (Substitute equal parts dry white wine and cooking sherry if necessary)
- 2 bay leaves
- Port Wine (measure with your heart)
- 3 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- Make the Basic Brine: Dissolve solids then chill: 4 C water, ¼ C salt, ½ C Sugar
- Marinate the pheasant breasts in brine overnight
- Rinse Breasts and pat dry
- Sear breasts skin side down in a large saute pan until browned. Finish in a 350-degree oven until cooked through to 160 degrees.
- Sauté mushrooms with butter and port wine in the same pan used to prepare the breasts. Set mushrooms aside
- Deglaze pan with ½ cup Vin Jaune and simmer until liquid is almost gone
- Prepare the sauce in the deglazed pan:
- Diced shallot
- Saute in butter until translucent (3-5 minutes)
- Deglaze with 2.5 Cups of Vin Jaune - adjust as necessary to have sufficient liquid for sauce - add bay leaves
- Reduce by ⅔
- Add ¾ cup cream
- Knead 4 tablespoons butter with the flour until smooth. Add to Sauce and stir over low heat until the sauce is thickened and smooth; do not allow to boil. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine pheasant breasts, mushrooms and sauce. Serve immediately.