One bird will serve 2-3 people
Pheasant has a sweet, earthy flavour that isn’t as overpowering as believed. Smaller, younger birds are best roasted in a hot oven which will provide a tender result, whilst larger, older pheasants benefit from being braised or pot roasted and make excellent, rich stews. Pheasant is a lean meat and as such has a tendency to dry out so the meat should be well larded when roasted. A whole pheasant (min 900g) will typically serve 3-4 people. If requesting separate cuts, pheasant thighs are very good stuffed and roasted, while whole breasts can be pan fried or stir-fried. The juices from pheasant will also create a wonderfully rich gravy.
Remove all packaging and allow to reach room temperature. Covering the bird with strips of bacon or spreading with butter inside and out will prevent it from drying out. Alternatively brush with olive oil before and during roasting.
Lard the bird according to preference and season generously with salt and cracked black pepper. Place on a roasting tray together with any vegetables you wish to roast and place in a hot oven (220°C / Gas Mark 7) for about 50 minutes. Baste the pheasant frequently and cook until the juices run clear.
Goes well with:
Seasonal vegetables, chestnuts, apples and bacon. Try with chestnut or root vegetable mash to complement stews or with roasted parsnips and redcurrant jelly. Also orange, pears, cabbage, thyme, red wine and port.
Warning: Birds may contain shot.