Apley Smoked Pheasant

With 2 stars in the Great Taste Awards 2019, you simply have to try this tasty, lean, low salt, low fat, unique available from Apley Farm Shop in this ready to eat form. Sourced from the Apley Estate surrounding Apley Farm Shop, it’s very versatile, quick & easy to use. Subtly smoked in beechwood by multi-award winning MacNeil’s Smokehouse (Worcestershire).

One of the best smoked pheasants we’ve tried in terms of flavourRaymond Blanc, Aug 2019

Lord Hamilton’s Apley Estate Smoked Pheasant is part of the Apley range. Smoked locally in beechwood, it’s the ultimate free range food & very healthy: Gluten & dairy free, high protein, low in fat, ready to eat cold or warm, as a pâté, an hors d’oeuvre, a canapé or in salads.

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Availability

Apley Smoked Pheasant is available at Apley Online 24/7 or onsite in Apley Farm Shop 362 days pa. It is available all year round as we freeze unsmoked raw breasts on 1 Feb every year.  Then every year we have fresh stock from 1 November until 1 Feb. If you prefer to just stock up your freezers, we nearly always also have a stock of frozen smoked breasts. As it’s a great summer hamper & salad food & so plentiful, we feel it’s important to make it available all year round, even though it means eating out of season. 

Recipes

Quick & easy, freezes well, lunches, starters, picnics, snacks, canapes – use it as you would any other smoked meat. See also recipe booklet & our Q&A below.

Questions & Answers

Why eat it?

Low food miles; The ultimate free range food; The best way to enjoy pheasant; It tastes different from pheasant cooked in other ways; Lower in salt than other smoked products; High protein, low fat (great for anyone slimming); A real super food & brain food; Boosts energy levels; Freezes well; Reduces the waste of this wonderful & ubiquitous meat; Great alternative to lamb, chicken, pork or beef – it’s the fifth meat!

What do others think of it?

At our 2017 & 2018 Christmas Markets, we sold c.170 packs pa. Great interest. Many of the customers were not living in the countryside & hadn’t ever tasted pheasant before, let alone smoked pheasant. Those who had tasted roast pheasant in the past (& found it high & dry), were unsure they wanted to try the smoked pheasant breast – but liked it when they did. “Better than other 50 ways to eat pheasant.”; “And I didn’t think I liked pheasant … “; “The best way to eat pheasant … “; Best news: Children loved it!

What’s its shelf life?

2 weeks shelf life from the smoking date; Eat within 3 days of opening; Freeze for 12 months

Where can I buy some?

Visit Apley Farm Shop – open 7 days a week; www.ApleyOnline.com & The House of Bruar in Scotland

Why has this product not been available until now ?

It’s taken 2 years of product development & that takes time, money & most importantly, tenacity. A Scottish smokery (now closed) apparently did sell a similar product for a while. In the US, pheasants are farmed, smoked & sold as whole birds. Until Nov 2019, we believe we were unique in selling ready-to-eat Smoked Pheasant breasts. We’ve since found two other shops selling a similar product.

How has it been treated?

The birds live very free lives in the Apley Estate woods – so we feel this meat has a high ‘ethical’ ranking. 5000 are shot every year, then plucked & breasted on the estate. It gets collected from the Apley Butchery chillers & taken to Macneil’s Smokehouse in Worcestershire (less than 1 hr from Apley Farm Shop). Macneil’s dry cure it, hot smoke it then cook it sous-vide. They then deliver it back to us, at the same time as they deliver [back calling] a variety of their multi-award winning products such as smoked salmon & smoked mackerel. It’s periodically sent to some British food testing laboratories to have microbiology tests. Once back in Apley Farm Shop, some is kept in chillers at 2°C & some is frozen (we stock pile for the months outside the shooting season). Apley customers buy it in our Food Hall or online at www.ApleyOnline.com.

How / when do you eat it?

Currently it’s available only available as unsliced breasts. It’s ready to eat.
We recommend avoiding eating it with foods with a strong flavour, so you can appreciate the full taste of the smoked pheasant itself. Once it’s been very thinly sliced, it may dry out if warmed, so we recommend eating it cold.

Canape: very thinly sliced short-ways. Put on crackers, mini round toasts or blinis, spread a bed of cream cheese or horse radish, add the slice of pheasant & top with any savoury condiments (eg. Lady Hamilton’s onion marmlade) or even caviar.

Hors d’oeuvres: very thinly sliced length-ways. Serve on a bed of watercress with a spot of colour, eg. from sliced cherry tomatoes.

Salad: very thinly sliced length-ways. Serve cold on a bed of baby spinach with mango & cashew nuts.

Picnics: sliced on a granary roll with lettuce.

Snacks: slice thinly & get just on its own !

Lunches: slice thinly & place in a wholemeal pitta bread with a slice of Apley Cheshire cheese. Try with a bowl of soup & a seasonal British apple.

When can I buy it?

1 Nov to 1 Feb – we smoked fresh, chilled pheasant breasts
2 Feb to 31 July – we can only stock frozen smoked pheasant breasts, so stock up now !
Aug Sept Oct – we are working on an idea to fill this gap !

Can it be delivered to me?

It can be sent by courier (next day delivery service for £7-13 approx. depending on weight & postcode), packed in polystyrene boxes, wood wool & ice packs (please recycle or reuse). It’s stored at 2°C before it leaves us.

Can I freeze it?

It freezes very well, tested by food labs for up to 12 months; Its taste & texture remain unchanged after defrosting; It takes up very little room & defrosts within 1-2 hrs.

Food Hall opening times

7 days per week

Monday – Friday: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Saturday: 9.30am – 5.30pm
Sunday: 9.30am – 5.00pm
Bank Holidays: 9.30am – 5.00pm

Smoked Pheasant hampers

Our hampers make perfect presents for all pheasant or game lovers

Awards

Gluten & dairy free

Apley Smoked Pheasant is a gluten & dairy free product. It’s smoked in an environment where nuts may be used.

Perfect accompaniment for Apley Smoked Pheasant
Add a teaspoon of one of these accompaniments from the Lady Hamilton range, on top of your Apley Smoked Pheasant
Eat it with a slice of our very own Apley [Cheshire] cheese on a cracker

Press release (product launch)

The ultimate free-range food has just been developed on an estate near Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Lady Hamilton has just launched a fine food, a premium product – Apley’s own smoked pheasant in a very accessible, ready to eat form.

Lord Hamilton inherited the 8000 acre Apley Estate in 2006 & after 10 years of trying pheasant cooked in dozens of ways, he found a new, tasty way to enjoy this game bird. Lady Hamilton has since spent 2 yrs testing & researching, until the launch in October.

Lady Hamilton explained “We had a golden ticket moment in 2016 when a London food shop expressed interest in the product putting us in the wonderful position of having identified the market & an outlet before we’d even fully developed the product.”

As the product carried very low food miles, its provenance is short & clear. The pheasants are reared on the Apley Estate by Apley’s gamekeepers then plucked & breasted out in Apley’s own game larder. The pheasant breasts (with skin on) are cured, hot smoked then cooked sous-vide at a local smokery in Worcestershire. They’re then sold as unsliced individual breasts, but multi-packs are also available on request. 

It hardly tastes like pheasant cooked in other ways & has a subtle taste of the beechwood in which its smoked. It’s very moist & succulent, full of flavour. It’s ready to eat, cold or warmed.

It’s currently sold through Apley Farm Shop which opened in 2011, www.ApleyOnline.com which was launched in 2016 & in local restaurants. Plans to sell it wholesale & more widely are in place.

“It’s all part of our wider remit to diversify the estate, to ensure its future viability.“ added Lord Hamilton.

It’s particularly good as a canapé, snack, hors d’oeuvre, in picnics, salads or lunch boxes. Try it with Pinot Noir or Reisling. To fill a Smoked Pheasant hamper, add a chunk of Apley’s own cheese & some of Lady Hamilton’s own range of chutneys or horseradish sauce.

Featured products

From quiches to smoked salmon, cheeses to smoked pheasant, pork pies to Scotch Eggs – you’ll find a feast on our Deli counter.

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