One of my absolute favorite new books of the last year is Hank Shaw’s Hunt, Gather, Cook. Shaw skillfully blends his personal narrative with unique recipes in this creative exploration of foraging, hunting, and fishing for nature’s “forgotten feast.” If you made it to National Pheasant Fest & Quail Classic last February, then you hopefully had the chance to catch Hank’s fantastic presentations on the Outdoor Channel Cooking Stage.
It was with Hank’s ethos in mind that I prepared this evening’s meal. My cluttered countertop included one rooster from a memorable December pheasant hunt in Kansas, a few dozen wild morel mushrooms scored with the assistance of my FAN Outdoors radio partner “The Captain” Billy Hildebrand, and a few stalks of wild asparagus snipped at my secret railroad tracks spot not far from the Pheasants Forever national offices.
Here’s the skinny on my Hunt, Gather, Cook Pheasant Pasta
1 Cubed whole pheasant
4 Cups of fresh morel mushrooms
1 Cup of fresh wild asparagus
2 Cups of angel hair pasta
1/2 Cup of heavy cream
½ Stick of butter
1 tsp flour
Salt to taste
1) Sauté the cubed pheasant in olive oil until brown, lightly salt
2) Sauté the morel mushrooms in ¼ stick of butter till reduced (approximately 5 minutes on medium heat)
3) Boil the angel hair pasta till tender
4) Melt ¼ stick of butter over low heat, add flour and whisk until blended, add cream, simmer on low heat.
5) Boil asparagus al dente, so they are crisp
6) Combine pheasant, mushrooms and pasta
7) Pour cream sauce over the top
8) Add asparagus
Thanks to my sous chef and wife, Meredith, for helping me out in the night’s finished dish.