Trish MacCurrach’s Pheasant Paprikash is her UK take on a Serbian classic. The secret ingredient is fermented cabbage, which in true outdoor style Trish crushes barefoot to draw out as much juice as possible.
The 61-year-old mother of three lives with her husband in Kington, Herefordshire.
Keen gardener and all-round country bumpkin Trish is never without her 'kotlich' - an outdoor cooking pot suspended over a fire which she first discovered whilst working in Serbia with her husband. It allows her to cook everything from stew to jams whether on the beach or in her snowy back garden!
Judge: Loyd Grossman
1 x large onion, finely chopped
5 x garlic cloves, chopped
4 x 100g pheasant breasts
1 x 400g tin whole tomatoes, each tomato chopped into 2-3 pieces each
200g chestnuts (precooked)
230g kiseli kupus (or sauerkraut)
400g precooked ham hock, chopped into chunks
3-4 x medium sized potatoes, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon chilli flakes
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
3 x fresh bay leaves
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 tsp sweet paprika
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 heaped teaspoon sour cream
1 dessert spoon flat leaf parsley, chopped
1. Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the onion and garlic until transparent.
2. Chop each pheasant breast into three long pieces. Toss in the hot oil mixture to seal and slightly brown, this should take 3 minutes on each side.
3. Add the tomatoes, chestnuts, kiseli kupus (or sauerkraut), ham hock, potatoes and 500ml water. Season with chili flakes, cumin, bay leaves, rosemary, half of the sweet paprika and salt and pepper. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
4. Add the remaining sweet paprika when the potatoes are nearly done. When the potatoes are cooked through (but still whole) the dish is done. Check by inserting a sharp knife, which should be able to pass in easily without breaking up the potato. Taste for seasoning, then take off the heat and rest for 5 minutes.
5. Serve with a small dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of parsley and a chunk of crusty bread.