Pot-roasted pheasant with cider, apples and celeriac

Serves 4

2 whole pheasants, oven-ready
2 tbsp olive oil
200g (7oz) diced smoked bacon
2 English apples (Cox or Braeburn) peeled, cored and quartered
½ celeriac, diced into 1cm cubes
1 leek, cut into rings, whites only
2 sticks celery, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion, peeled and cut through the root into eight wedges
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt and pepper to season
1 litre (1¾ pint) strong cider
50g (2oz) butter

Preheat oven to 320F/160C/Gas Mark 3.

the pheasants. Heat the oil in a large, ovenproof casserole dish, add
in the bacon and cook until golden. Add the pheasants.  Seal the birds
on all sides until golden brown.

Place the fruit, vegetables and
herbs in the dish. Season. Add the cider. Bring to the boil, put the
lid on and place in the oven. Allow to cook for 30 to 40 minutes.  Once
cooked, remove the pheasants and allow to rest.

Place the
casserole dish back on the heat, remove the lid and let the remaining
juices reduce by half. Add in the butter and season.

Carve the pheasant, allowing one leg and one breast per person. Serve with vegetables and the juices.


Tandoori pheasant

Serves 4

4 pheasant breasts
3 to 4 tbsp Tamarind & Ginger Tandoori Curry Paste
250ml (6fl oz) natural yoghurt
Oil for frying

the pheasant breasts in strips. Mix the curry paste with natural
yoghurt.  Add the pheasant strips and stir well to coat all the pieces
evenly. Cover with cling-film and leave to marinade for about two hours
(or, if time, overnight in the fridge).

Remove the pheasant
pieces from the marinade and thread the pieces of pheasant on to four
wooden skewers. Heat a little oil in a griddle or frying-pan.  Place
the kebabs in the griddle and cook evenly on all sides.

Garnish with coriander and serve with basmati rice, plum chutney and naan bread.

Tip: Alternatively, cook under a hot grill, basting with some of the marinade during cooking.
Turn to cook evenly.


Warm pheasant salad with wild mushroom dressing

4 tbsp olive oil
2 whole unpeeled garlic cloves
4 pheasant breast fillets
200g (7 oz) wild mushrooms (morel, chanterelle)
4 tbsp dry white wine
2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
1 tbsp roughly chopped soft fresh thyme
Salt and pepper for seasoning
1 bag (135g/4¾oz) watercress, spinach and rocket salad
2 nectarines, stoned and sliced

Pour 1 tbsp oil into a large, heavy-based frying-pan, add the whole garlic cloves and set the pan over a medium heat.  When the oil is hot fry the pheasant breasts for two or three minutes each side until lightly browned and just cooked through.  Transfer them to a board, leave to rest for a few minutes, then slice.

Heat the remaining oil to the pan, add the mushrooms and fry for one or two minutes.  Pour in the wine and allow to bubble rapidly for a few seconds.  Remove from the heat.  Add the red onion and thyme.  Season.

To serve, divide the salad leaves and nectarines between four plates.  Top with the pheasant breasts, then spoon over the warm mushrooms and their dressing.


Pheasant with roast pepper pappardelle

2 red peppers, de-seeded and thickly sliced
2 long marmara or green peppers, de-seeded and thickly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp medium dry white wine
1½ tsp cumin seeds, crushed
4 vine ripened tomatoes
4 pheasant breast fillets, halved
250g (9oz) dried pappardelle pasta
Salt for pasta water
40g (1½oz) butter
3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander plus a few extra sprigs

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas Mark 4.  Toss together the peppers, sliced garlic, 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp wine and the crushed cumin seeds in a large roasting tin.  Spread out in a single layer and season.  Roast for 20 mins until lightly charred at the edges, stirring in the tomatoes half way through.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a heavy-based frying-pan.  Fry the pheasant breasts over a high heat for one minute each side until browned.  Add to the roasting tin, pushing them among the peppers.  Pour the remaining wine over the top.

Return to the oven for eight to 10 minutes until cooked through and the vegetables are tender.  Transfer the pheasant to a board and slice.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pan of lightly salted boiling water for the time stated on the packet.  Drain well.  Return to pan and toss with the butter until melted.  Add the sliced pheasant, chopped coriander, vegetables and juices from the roasting tin.  Serve straight away with crusty bread.


Red pheasant curry

Serves 4

2 inch piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped
4 cloves garlic
450ml (16 fl oz) water
6 tbsp oil
6 pheasant breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
10 cardamom pods
2 bay leaves
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 large onions, finely chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp mild paprika
6 tbsp natural yoghurt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp freshly chopped coriander

To serve:
Naan or paratha bread
Crisply fried onions and pickles

Blend the ginger, garlic and 4 tbsp of the water in a liquidiser. Heat half the oil and lightly brown the pheasant and set to one side.

Add the remaining oil and heat with the cardamom, bay leaves, cloves and cinnamon. Add the onions, and cook until golden brown. Stir in the ginger and garlic paste and the remaining spices.  Blend in the yoghurt and return the pheasant to the pan with the remaining water. Cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes, or until the pheasant is tender.

Season and sprinkle over the fresh coriander. Serve with the accompaniments.

Wine to drink with game