Pheasant has been a game staple since medieval times. Introduced to the British Isles from Asia sometime around the C10th, it became popular as a game bird once again in the 1830s. Since then, its popularity has increased today until an estimated 30 million birds are released on shooting estates each year. Come the autumn pheasant is plentiful and makes for an inexpensive alternative to chicken or turkey in the winter months.
Our birds come from estates in the north west of England where they are an intrinsic part of the economy. Without this money coming into the estates, large tracts of land would not be managed in the same manner. Investment in sustainable and ecological methods to maintain the landscape is costly and the income from the annual pheasant shoots is very important.
From a Paleo and Primal point of view, pheasant is more semi-domesticated than any of the products we sell and their natural diet is often supplemented by grain feeders. However, we feel that our pheasant is a good alternative to chicken (usually predominantly grain fed) so feel that pheasant is a good primal eating option. The pheasant we source live wild, foraging in woodland and on pasture, scratching out their natural diet of nuts, seeds, invertebrates and occasional vertebrates – with the possible visits to grain feeders.
Pheasant breast is a dense, dark meat with a light, rich game flavour. The breasts have very little fat in them, so when it comes to cooking, a little care is required to enjoy them. Wrapping the pheasant breasts in bacon will prevent drying out, as will cooking them pink. You could also stuff them with moist sausage or venison. Nick Nairn has a simple recipe for roast pheasant breast whilst this recipe for pan-fried pheasant ticks all the paleo boxes and sounds delicious.
And as it sits on your plate, tantalising your taste buds, you can consider how the pheasant is doing good for the environment as well as your own nutritional well-being. It is high in B vitamins and niacin as well as vitamin K which is great for building strong bones. All the benefits of a tasty Paleo meal! Bon appetit!
Caroline is a ‘Certified Primal Blueprint Expert’ and although we can’t comment on individual cases or offer any professional advice directly we generally advocate an ancestral health approach to diet and wellness. All comments regarding health are based on a picture built up over years of researching scientific literature and working with leading experts in the field of nutrition. By way of a reference for these comments, we have compiled a pinterest board with a range of research and informative articles on the subject. Enjoy.