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End of the Year Huntsman's Rustic Dinner - The Pheasant Cacciatore

End of the Year Huntsman's Rustic Dinner - The Pheasant Cacciatore

Photo Credit to Todd Quackenbush via Unsplash.com

So much has happened this year and as I sit in our kitchen watching my husband cooking our New Year’s Eve dinner, I’m in this place of utterly simple contentment. It’s a peaceful time of year when his grape harvest is over, and our lives resume a familiar rhythm of long walks on the river trail, cooking, and eating with our family and friends. We are looking forward to bringing in the New Year with good friends, over robust glasses of red wines with the Pheasant Cacciatore that’s bubbling on the stove. 

Our house is filled with that incredible umami fragrance of sautéed onions, garlic, mushrooms, and carrots. That’s how I learn what my husband is creating for new year's dinner.

I’m sharing his recipe of Pheasant Cacciatore here with you because it’s delicately tender and delectable, but mostly, I’m sharing it because of the local and sustainable ingredients. The pheasant came from his recent hunt in a rice field in Colusa County, an hour North of Sacramento, the honey from our Clarksburg pasture, the red wine that he makes professionally, the 10 year old homemade red wine vinegar, our dried garden sage, thyme, and rosemary, and our canned summer tomatoes from his friend's garden. My beloved husband of thirty-two years thrives on hunting, fishing, canning, curing, pickling, and cooking food for the family, so it’s natural that he would create a huntsman's dish for our dinner tomorrow night. 

I will list the ingredients he uses in the recipe, but you can substitute chicken for the pheasant, and use the red wine vinegar of your choice. We will serve it over penne pasta, but feel free to choose the pasta of your liking. 

Pheasant Cacciatore. My huntsman husband's rustic dinner.

Pheasant Cacciatore a la Christopher

(Intermediate cooking experience)


4 Cups of tomato sauce

1 Cup of red wine

3 Tablespoons of drained capers

1/2 Tbsp of dried sage

1/2 Tbsp of dried thyme

1/2 Tbsp of dried rosemary

3 Tbsp of organic olive oil

2 Tbsp of butter

1 Yellow onion, diced

5 Cloves of garlic, crushed

1 Cup of rehydrated Crimini mushrooms

2 Cups of sliced baby bella mushrooms, or brown mushrooms

1 Cup of diced carrots

1 cleaned and quartered pheasant

3 fillets of anchovy, finely chopped

1 Tbsp of organic honey

2 Tbsp of tapenade 

4 Tbsp of pesto

2 Tbsp of apricot preserves

1 Satsuma tangerine, juiced

1 Tsp red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp of Ver Jus

1 -1/2 Cups of chopped Italian parsley

2 Tbsp of paprika

1 Tsp of freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp of garlic powder

STEP 1: In a large saucepan

  • Add tomato sauce, red wine, capers, and dried herbs
  • Bring to a simmer on lowest heat setting while preparing step 2 in a separate skillet

STEP 2: In another large skillet

  • In oil and butter, sautée onion and garlic until translucent
  • Add sliced mushrooms, rehydrated Crimini mushrooms (soak dry mushroom in water till they resume their fresh form),
  • Add a half cup of  diced carrots
  • Add pheasant pieces
  • Simmer for 20 minutes

STEP 3: .

  • Add the sautéed veggies and pheasant in step 2 to the sauce in step 1 
  • Next add the remaining ingredients 
  • Simmer slowly on the lowest setting for about 2 hours and may add water if needed. (Alternatively, use a crock pot for this step, and keep it on lowest heat setting for about 4 hours)

Enjoy the recipe and leave us a comment on how you cook your pheasants or any Cacciatore. Happy New year!

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