2 tbsp butter
1 small onion or a couple of shallots, finely diced
1 small leek, chopped into rings
2 cloves finely diced garlic
250g pearl barley
1 tbsp thyme
750ml pheasant or chicken stock.
4 handfuls of slow cooked shredded pheasant leg (I batch cook & freeze in portions so they’re available throughout the year) or 4 diced pheasant breasts.
4 handfuls spinach leaves
2-3 tbsp extra mature cheddar (or parmesan) finely grated
8 sage leaves
Salt & Pepper
Method : -
Reserve around 1 tsp butter. Melt the rest & oil and soften onion/shallots & leek. Then add garlic & soften being careful not to burn it.
Brown pheasant breasts if using.
Add pearl barley & thyme & shredded pheasant leg, fry for another couple of minutes, coating in the butter. Add a little more butter if needed.
Add vermouth and reduce a little.
Add stock and simmer for ½ hour or so, stirring occasionally until the pearl barley is tender. If it looks a little dry add a little more stock/ water / vermouth / wine.
When barley is tender stir through the spinach leaves until wilted.
Check everything is piping hot through.
Turn into serving dish / individual bowls and stir through the cheese. Season.
Fry the sage leaves in the reserved butter and use to garnish.