Embered Root Vegetables with Whole Roasted Pheasant on Pine

Read more from Danny Christensen, blogger at The Urban Huntsman, in our Winter issue with his piece "Wintoon Winter."

By / Photography By Danny Christensen | November 28, 2017

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pheasant
  • 3 Gala or wild fermented apples
  • 1 large red beet
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 3 large leeks
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 large turnip
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • small pine branches, enough to cover the bottom of the pot in one layer (use only the boughs from white pine or spruce)
  • Salt, pepper, oil

Instructions

Clean and feather the bird, then rub the skin and cavity with salt and ground black pepper. Fill the cavity with either chopped fresh apples or wild apples found on the branch in late December when they have frozen and thawed so many times they are tender, sour (from fermentation) and sweet (from freezing). Tie and truss the bird to ensure even cooking.

Over an open campfire, heat a cast-iron pot until the oil smokes when added, then carefully sear the bird in the oil as evenly and thoroughly as possible. Remove from heat, remove the bird and line the bottom of the pot with the pine branches and a bit of apple juice. Nestle the bird on top of the branches and cover the pot with a lid, put back on the fire and stoke the embers to be able to hold the pot with an internal temp of 375°F for about an hour, until the juices run clear.

Clean the vegetables, throw onto the embers and rotate them, burning the outside of each one and checking the tenderness of each vegetable. Cook until soft but not dried out. Trim away the charred exterior. Chop and mix the veggies; in another pan, caramelize the honey, add the remaining apple juice then glaze the veggies. Discard the pine branches. Serve the bird on top of the root vegetables. 

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pheasant
  • 3 Gala or wild fermented apples
  • 1 large red beet
  • 1/4 cup apple juice
  • 3 large leeks
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 large turnip
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • small pine branches, enough to cover the bottom of the pot in one layer (use only the boughs from white pine or spruce)
  • Salt, pepper, oil
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