For J. D. Fratzke, chef and co-owner of the Strip Club Meat & Fish, St. Paul’s scrupulously local steak house, Christmas isn’t Christmas without pheasant. “I grew up around Winona. Up on the ridges there are a lot of cornfields, and whenever there are cornfields, there are pheasants,” remembers Fratzke. “We’d roast whole pans of them at Christmastime, and serve them at our house on Christmas day.” The pheasant dish pictured here, offered at the Strip Club all month, is Fratzke’s version of his childhood Christmas—gussied up for company. He takes local, free-range Wild Acres pheasants, roasts them beneath a slab of local Pastures A Plenty bacon, browns potatoes and apples, then adds savoy cabbage, lentils, crème fraîche, and a touch of curry to the pan.
If you ever wanted to know what a haute bluff-country Christmas would taste like, now’s your chance.
The Strip Club Meat &Fish, 378 N. Maria Ave., St. Paul, 651-793-6247, domeats.com