Pheasant and bulgur pilav

This a spectacularly tasty way to use up leftover pheasant and its gravy, although it needs some interesting garnish to improve its looks. The recipe combines lively middle-eastern and Maghrebi spicing to complement the gamey meat and liven up the comforting soft, cracked wheat. It could also work with other leftover game or meat, possibly even turkey (but that will probably have to wait until next year now).

Serves 2


All the meat from the carcass of a roast (or casseroled) pheasant – leg and thigh meat are particularly good for this; ½ onion, thinly sliced; 2 cloves garlic, sliced; ½ large carrot, diced; piece of swede roughly same size as carrot, diced; 1 leek, sliced; ½ tsp each of ground cumin, allspice, fennel, grains of paradise (optional), cinnamon; 2 tsp sumac; leftover pheasant gravy, brought up to 1 pt with water or stock and boiled; 100 g coarse bulgur; 2 tsp pomegranate molasses; 1 tsp harissa; olive oil


In a medium-sized pot or pan with a lid, cook the onion, garlic, carrot  and swede in olive oil over a low-medium heat until the onion is soft and the root vegetables are softening around the edges. Add in the spice mixture until an aroma emanates from the pot then add the leeks, pheasant and hot gravy. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about two minutes.

Add the bulgur and turn down to a very low heat. Place the lid on the pot and leave for about 10 minutes. When the bulgur has soaked up the liquid and is soft, stir in the harissa and pomegranate molasses.

Serve with a little extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses and sumac sprinkled on top. It can also be accompanied by yoghurt and some green vegetables (sprouts with toasted caraway and brown butter shown in the picture).


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