I never thought I'd be writing on this topic, let alone doing it myself!
I enjoy eating meat, so given an opportunity to prepare our own I was determined not to bottle it. Vegetarianism would have been next if I'd found I couldn't stomach it. But, I did it! I'm so chuffed I managed to do this that I can't resist writing a small piece about it! If you think you'll find this offensive, please look away now.
I was slightly apprehensive before we started this morning, the pheasants had hung for three days so this morning's job was skinning and gutting. I'd been assured by a friend (who has prepared pheasants, ducks and geese before) that pheasants were easiest. I wasn't convinced.
Nick found a video on the internet (the obvious place to look!) about how to skin a pheasant, it was excellent. I would thoroughly recommend Mark Hinge's video to anyone else who has never done this before.
Feeling slightly strange about handling a dead animal for the first time (not counting the mice that the cats have brought in) we started by removing the wings, feathers, tendons and head. Amazingly, I was OK until this point. Next came removing the skin and innards. I hadn't expected the smell at this stage. It was awful. Having said that, I did get used to it and turning on the extractor fan helped!
The first one was completed as a joint effort between both of us; I tackled the next three by myself. We now have four pheasants sitting in the freezer, I can't quite believe it!
This probably sounds quite dippy to anyone who has done this before , but I was surprised at how different each bird was. Young, old, male, female, etc, all seemed to affect the colour and texture of the flesh as well as the weight of the animal. Why it shouldn’t, I’m not quite sure. I think I was just more aware it because of the close contact with the birds.
Now I'm not quite sure what to do with them, I'm thinking of a pie...