Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Kimchi Pheasant Pot-Roast

This is the reason why I made a new batch of kimchi the other day; the last of my 2 month-old mature kimchi went into this pheasant pot-roast.

I'm still relatively new to game, having grown up in a country where the closest we get to shooting season is when the government sends pest-management people to shoot crows. I tried venison recently, loved it, and now am on to the next least scary one on the list of game meats (see below). It's not very expensive either, plus I pretty much got it free (job perks heh). Pheasant really does remind me of a smaller chicken, but with much leaner meat and a slightly gamey smell to it, which was why I decided to braise it with the powerful spicy and tangy kimchi and kimchi juice. As with most things I'm unsure about, I went the easy way, low and slow, and the results were deliciously tender.

Photo from 2 years ago, when I first came to borough market.
I didn't know they were meant to be eaten.

Kimchi Pheasant Pot-Roast
serves 2
1 pheasant
1 large onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, smashed
3 pieces of ginger
1 cup chopped kimchi+ 1 cup kimchi juices
4 tbsp groundnut oil
unrefined sea salt, white pepper

1. Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius.
2. Place a heavy-bottomed casserole pot over the stove. Add the oil and when the oil is hot, add the pheasant to brown, until golden all over, about 10 min.

3. Set aside. Add the onions and garlic and stir-fry till softened and fragrant. Add the kimchi to the pot and stir-fry for a couple min more.

4. Return pheasant to the pot, pour kimchi juices over.

5. Bring to a simmer, cover with a sheet of aluminium foil (some fancy French technique) followed by the lid, and place in the oven for 3 hours. When done, sprinkle over chopped spring onions, and let rest for a while, tented with foil, before carving (or rather, tearing. It's tender enough.)

Maybe it was the 3 hours, or maybe it was the enzymes in the kimchi juices at work, but the pheasant was deliciously juicy and tender despite its reputation of being too lean. If you're not normally crazy about the plate of cold kimchi on the side of your Korean meal, you might quite likely change your mind with this. The slow-braising in the oven kind of mellows the pungency of the kimchi out while intensifying its flavour, so all that sour, spicy and savoury flavours just infuse the roasted pheasant with all things good. Super healthy too I might add. Definitely worth offering the last of my kimchi for this beautiful bird.

P.S. Charles!! It's the first dish I cooked in your pot (:


  1. Guau que rico,me apunto la receta,Feliz año y un besazo!!!

  2. Wow! This Kimchi pheasant roast is a gourmet dish to cook and eat!

  3. Awesome! I was gonna ask if that was the pot, when I saw the post title! :)

    I'm so jealous - I love pheasant but it's not that common here. I saw that they sell them from time to time at a big market on Sundays in Versailles, so I should probably go and pick up a couple sometime! My grandfather used to be a game-keeper and we'd get a decent supply of pheasants from him during the hunting season when I was younger :)

    We always ate it very "traditionally" though - I never tried anything like this - I bet it must have been delicious... great use of the kimchi too :) Something to try next time I have a pheasant!

  4. I have a giant jar of kimchi, and am not in the habit of eating it regularly, so this should help me get that jar empty before my fridge overflows.

  5. So let's see if this is going to work.

  6. al son del mortero: Thank you!!

    zoe: Haha thanks, you can easily replace it with chicken though (:

    charles: Wow your grandfather was a game keeper? It must be brilliant growing up then! I think this is pretty much the traditional way of pot roasting it though, just replacing the usual vegetable with kimchi, do try!

    lauren: Giant jar of kimchi in fridge sounds tempting to me already! Definitely start using it more!

    stephen: hurray!

    1. Yeah - we had a regular supply of, mainly pheasants I think, but also other game birds I think when I was younger. I remember my mother leaning the cooking pan from side to side when she was making stock or soup with the carcass to check for any lead-shot rolling around inside :D

      Not only that, but my uncle was a keen fisherman and we would quite regularly get huge fresh rainbow trouts which he'd caught in the Scottish highlands... ah, happy days :D

  7. Shu Han, your pheasant looks terrific! Braising it with kimchi is such an exciting idea (yes! exciting for kimchi makers and amateurs), but most of all such a creative one! Onb the other hand, as you say, pheasant has a strong game smell so even kimchi doesn't scare it.
    I love pheasant and haven't had one in years... It's far from being cheap in France (I don't even talk about Switzerland), but I know in Britain so many people hunt, so I'm not surprised the prices are reasonable. You are of course lucky to work where you work :-)
    (By the way, did you have to pluck it? There is one stall on my French market where game is cheaper, but it has to be plucked)
    PS Have you seen my (yours) kimchi? Now I only need to find (shoot?) a pheasant ;-)

  8. Although I am not a big fan of kimchi but I would love to try making this pot roast pheasant because it simple look delicious!!

  9. Honestly, I never thought I'd see kimchi, pheasant and pot roast all in one recipe! Leave it to you to push boundaries of what food should or should not taste. Brava! And I'm so jealous (but happy for you, of course haha) that you own a dutch oven! Been thinking for over a year whether I should invest in one... HMMMMMMM... It's kinda exp in Australia so have to keep thinking carefully. Maybe if I can trick myself into thinking that simply owning one would automatically make me cook as good as you, I'd buy it haha

  10. I will definitely try this with chicken after I make your kimchi! Can't wait!

  11. Just found your blog, i must say, am pretty much drooling :) I love "peasant" food style, rustic and nothing too fancy! if they look pretty like yours, just an additional point!

  12. charles: you are so lucky growing up! regular supply of game AND trout?? Why did you move to France?! haha

    sissi: I didn't, it came already plucked, phew. Oh and I've seen your kimchi sissi! It looks awesome, my fellow kimchi lover (:

    quay po: Thank you! You'll be surprised, the kimchi flavours really become much more delicious after the long roast/stewing!

    winston: hur hur winston, I totally understand. I would never justify getting one if I had to buy one myself. This one was from Santa, aka Charles!

    Tina: oooooh! I can't wait for you to make it and tell me how it went (:

    Jessica: thank you, often the simplest food are the best (:

  13. Amazing. I'm sure that there is some exciting kinetic chemistry happening with the kimchi and the lean meat that is transformative! I love how you braised it whole, as well. Brilliant combination.

  14. Thank you for the compliment :-)

  15. Lovely! I have never tried kimchi! I will do now, an inspired recipe x Thanks for linking it up xx

  16. Thank you again for all your inspired entries to Simple and in Season - I've posted a round up today x

  17. How beautiful is this dish? Sounds super delish, and the photo is gorgeous :))
    enjoyed reading your post.

  18. susan: thanks susan! it just seemed easier to cook it whole because then I don't have to worry about jointing it heh.

    sissi: I meant it (:

    ren: thank you! brilliant roundup as always (:

    dima: thanks dima!