Friday, 3 December 2010

Simple Roasted Pheasant

Be certain to take advantage of pheasant when it is in season there is nowt quite like its taste, when it is young and simply roasted. I have lost count of the number of pheasant I have drawn, dressed, and roasted but it is still one of our favourite game birds cooked just like this.
At Lodge Hill where Mr Finken also had a game farm, Kimber cottage, and Wilton Lodge this was a very popular dinner party dish served with all the trimmings during the late autumn and winter months the traditional accompaniments  are bread sauce, a fried crouton, fried breadcrumbs, game chips, redcurrant or rowan jelly, bacon rolls and sausages, and not forgetting the rich gravy, though not all at once, however Lady Hanson like me to serve as many as possible so her guests could have their favourites

Serves / Makes:         4 servings

Prep-Time:                 10 minutes

Cook-Time:                45 minutes

You Will Need

2 Pheasant, cleaned and plucked traditionally you will have 1 cock and 1 hen bird

¼, teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon, white pepper

1 bay leaf, crumbled

1 tablespoon, minced garlic

½ cup, celery leaves

2 sprigs, fresh thyme

¼ lemon, sliced

150 grams, sliced bacon

¼ cup, melted butter

1 cup, sliced onions

1 cup, sliced mushrooms

1 cup, game stock, you can use chicken stock


Season the pheasant inside and outside with salt and pepper, place the bay leaf, fresh thyme, garlic, celery leaves, and lemon in the cavity truss the legs and wings with string, then place, breast side up in a roasting pan.

Arrange the bacon slices over the breasts, and now soak a piece of muslin with melted butter, and place over the breasts.

Arrange the onions and mushrooms around the bird, moisten the pheasant with the stock, and roast at 350°F/180°C/Gasmark 5 for 30 to 35 minutes, basting often until tender and golden and cooked through (the juices will run clear when the thigh is pierced with a skewer).

Remove from the oven and remove and throw away the muslin and string, let the pheasant rest for 10 to15 minutes and place onto your serving platter and serve with the gravy, vegetables, roast potatoes and any or all of the trimmings mentioned above.

Carve as if it is a roast chicken one bird serves two, we like to serve sprouts, braised celery, roast potatoes and game chips.


Pheasant is a well known game bird, perhaps the most widespread and ancient one in the entire world, being the world's most hunted bird it has been introduced just for that purpose to many regions, and is bred extensively on game farms from where it is sold to many shoots.

Said to have been introduced into Britain by the Romans (along with dormice), this handsome bird was originally a foreigner to England, but for some time it has been a native of our woodlands.

Hen birds as a rule are more tender and succulent than the cocks; young birds are best spit roasted for about 45 minutes. Cocks and older birds should be pot roasted to keep them as moist as possible the flavour of pheasant goes well with such foods as apples, grapes, or raisins a pheasant offers itself to a range of dishes, but if served simply roasted it must be well hung otherwise it can be dry and flavourless.

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