Pheasant Tagine

With the end of the season approaching you may be getting bored of roast pheasant so why not add a spicy North African twist to your game cookery with this delicious recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 large oven-ready pheasants , or 2 small guinea fowl
  • olive oil
  • 3 carrots , cut into chunks
  • 3 red onions , cut into chunks
  • about 12 ready-to-eat dates , prunes or figs
  • 300g couscous
  • 100g butter , cut into chunks
  • a small handful sultanas
  • 2 preserved lemons , flesh scooped out, peel sliced
  • mint leaves, to serve
  • harissa , to serve

Chermoula

  • 2 large red onions , roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3½cm piece ginger , roughly chopped
  • olive oil
  • 200ml lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp Thai fish sauce
  • 1 generous tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp each ground cumin , paprika, turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • a large handful flat-leaf parsley
  • a large handful coriander

Method

  1. Put all the ingredients for the chermoula in a blender and process to a paste. Pour over the pheasant or guinea fowl, rub in and leave in the fridge to marinate for 4 hours or preferably overnight.
  2. Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the birds on all sides.
  3. Put the carrots, onions and dates into a large casserole or tagine and put the birds on top. Pour in 400ml water. Cover with a lid and cook in the oven for about 45 minutes, then turn the heat down to 180C/fan 160C/ gas 4 and cook for another 45 minutes.
  4. About 15 minutes before serving, make the couscous. Put into a shallow bowl and season with 1 tsp sea salt. scatter with the butter and add the sultanas around the edge of the bowl. Pour boiling water over the top to cover by about 1/2 cm. Put a plate over the top and leave for about 10 minutes until the grains have become tender.
  5. Scatter the pheasant with the lemon peel and mint. serve with couscous and harissa.