Friday, 4 May 2012
3 Course Diamond Jubilee Meal Tribute to the British Armed Forces (Part One)
This is my second post dedicated to celebrating the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II with appropriate food and meal creations. Given that Her Majesty is Commander-in-Chief of the British Armed Forces, I felt it was essential to come up with something to pay tribute to the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force on this extra special occasion. I thought long and hard about how to achieve this and decided to create a three course meal, each course representing a major branch of the services. I very much hope you like what I finally came up with and prepared. This first part of the meal is the starter, dedicated to the Royal Air Force, and today's post is the first in a mini-series of three.
It may be that you normally enjoy a glass of wine with a special meal. If you are a beer drinker, however, and enjoy a beer with your dinner, below are three ideas you may wish to consider. Failing that, you could of course enjoy the beers before or after your meal...?
These beers are Spitfire Ale (symbolic of the RAF), Victory Ale (symbolic of the Royal Navy) and Bombardier Ale (symbolic of the Army). They are all widely available in supermarkets in the UK.
It was fairly obvious to me that this course had to centre around something which flies. I finally settled on pheasant, which had to be purchased online in frozen form, due to it being out of shooting season. I considered a number of pheasant recipes but finally prepared a simple pheasant, vegetable and cider casserole.
Ingredients (Serves Two)
1 whole prepared pheasant (fully thawed, if applicable)
2oz unsalted butter
1 stick of celery
1 medium carrot
1 Granny Smith apple
1/2 small white onion
1 large clove of garlic
1 pint fresh chicken stock
1/2 pint apple cider
Sea salt and black pepper
Torn basil leaves to garnish (optional)
The pheasant should be portioned by firstly cutting off the leg portions then halfing the carcass horizontally to separate the breasts from the backbone. The breast portion should then be halfed down through the central bone. Alternatively, you may wish to remove the two breast fillets from the bone. The back of the pheasant can be used to make stock.
Melt the butter in a large pot and season, brown and seal the breast and leg portions. Remove them to a plate with cooking tongs or a large slotted spoon.
Peel, core and chop the apple. Wash, dry and chop the celery stick. The carrot should be topped, tailed, scraped and chopped, while the peeled onion half should be finely sliced. The garlic clove should be peeled and finely chopped.
Add the vegetables to the pot from which the pheasant pieces were removed and sweat them off in the juices for a minute or two, stirring with a wooden spoon.
Re-add the pheasant portions to the pot and pour in the stock and cider. Bring to a simmer, cover and leave for twenty minutes to gently cook.
Remove the pheasant pieces from the pot and test with a skewer for tenderness.
If you are going to be enjoying a beer with this course, now is the time to get it poured.
A soup ladle is best used to lay some stock and vegetables in the bottom of two serving plates.
Lay a leg and breast portion in the centre of each plate and garnish (if desired) with the basil leaves.
I hope you like the look of this starter idea and it has whetted your appetite for the main course and pudding. Parts two and three of this meal will both be published in the next few days and I hope you will come back again to see the creations for yourself.