Pot-roasted pheasant

Pot-roasted pheasant

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(11 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr, 55 mins

More effort

Serves 4
A true autumnal treat, this pot roast works equally well with partridge, guinea fowl or chicken

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal565
  • fat30g
  • saturates7g
  • carbs19g
  • sugars12g
  • fibre5g
  • protein45g
  • salt0.95g
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  • 2 pheasant, tied (ask your butcher to do this)
  • 1 tbsp plain flour, well seasoned
  • 50ml vegetable oil
  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, thinly sliced
  • 8 shallots, peeled and left whole



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 2 carrot, peeled and quartered lengthways



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 2 parsnip, peeled and quartered lengthways



    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just…

  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 1 thyme sprig


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 marjoram sprig
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100ml marsala or sweet sherry
  • 50ml red wine
  • 200ml chicken stock
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • bread sauce, to serve


  1. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Dust the pheasants with the flour, then heat the oil in a large flameproof dish. Brown the pheasants all over, then remove from the dish.

  2. In the same dish, fry the bacon, vegetables, garlic and herbs with 1 tbsp of the dusting flour for 5 mins, until the vegetables start to colour. Put the pheasants and any resting juices back in the dish, pour on the Marsala, wine and stock, add the sugar, then cover and cook for 1 hr 30 mins - 1 hr 50 mins or until the leg meat easily comes away from the bone. Serve with bread sauce.

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Comments (21)

bars's picture

This is now a regular favourite when pheasant is in season. There's always some left to make a soup so great value. However, I tried guinea fowl for a change at the weekend and used free range smoked lardons - absolutely wonderful and still enjoying the soup!

Kochlöffel's picture

Wonderful and easy. I substituted quince champagne for the cider, ce
Erica for celery and cooked slowly. The fowl was succulent. Lovely taste in the sauce reduction. Will make again!

mck's picture

We live in the country where pheasants are easy to come by, but we've never found a recipe we really like until now. A couple of weeks ago I was given a brace by a young friend who is a beater. I hung the birds at a low temperature for a week and a half before plucking. Pheasant is a very dry meat and so most recipes tell you to bard the pheasant with streaky bacon before roasting, but we find this just gives a bacony tang to the dish and masks the taste of the pheasant, while the texture of the flesh still seems a bit dry.Having said that, I substituted green bacon for smoked bacon in this dish as I had no smoked bacon to hand. Otherwise I followed the recipe (except that instead of the chicken stock I used stock I made from the pheasants' giblets and a few root vegetables) and the result was the best and tastiest pheasant we have ever had. The use of Marsala and that tiny bit of sugar gives a sweetness and depth which complements the pheasant perfectly, and the flesh was beautifully moist. The sauce is fabulous. Will definitely do it again and thoroughly recommend it.

noddy21's picture

A lovely dish! I substituted oregano for marjoram and used sweet sherry. I think that it would have tasted even better cooked in a slow cooker, cooked over a long period of time. The sauce was a little thin so we thickened it with cornflour. The sauce was amazing!

l_dommett's picture

Made this with chicken (without sprinkling with flour) and it was delicious. 1.8kg bird cooked for 1 hr 50min.

livicus78's picture

I have done this recipe a few times with chicken and it's worked well. I have revised it by not sprinkling the bird with flour when browning as the flour tended to burn and I don't think it makes much difference. I used parma ham when I didn't have any bacon and I have to say I think I prefer it.
All in all, a very easy and delicious recipe.

paradisegirl's picture

Lucky you, local pheasants must be so much tastier than my store bought frozen one , although it was very delicious. My birds (pheasants) were not tied and they were fine. This is a great recipe!

Zootfruit's picture

Think I will try this tomorrow as I've had 2 pheasants staring at me since before Christmas!! Does it matter if the birds aren't tied as I don't go to a butcher for mine, I know a man with a gun!!!

paradisegirl's picture

I did make this for Christmas dinner and it was delicious. It was just one pheasant but otherwise exactly the recipe ingredients, although very chunky parsnips and carrots and cipollini onions instead of shallots. I cooked it, on low, in the slow cooker for five hours. When we got home from seeing Les Miserable it smelt wonderful and tasted excellent with roasted brussel sprouts and creamy mashed potato. I will definitely make it again.

paradisegirl's picture

I would like to make this dish for Christmas Dinner. Has anyone made it using a slow cooker? That would fit in better with the day's events.

ievasaule's picture

This was delicious. Will cook for the Christmas dinner this year.

lizleicester's picture

Lovely way to cook pheasant. I turned mine upside down half way through the cooking which kept it deliciously moist. Really tasty.

afgilbert's picture

Three stars was our average rating. The pheasant was, despite the sauce, too dry. The sauce is good, though, so next time I will double the amount. Our pheasants (which we get from a local farmer) were too big to fit ino one pan....maybe that's why they were too dry? Easy to make, though.

cooking80's picture

Wow, fantastic flavours, so rich and tasty. I served with mash potato and broccoli. I didnt have any marsala so added another 100ml of stock and an extra splash of red wine.
Cant wait to eat it again!

kaikins's picture

This is a beautiful dish, the sauce was scrummy!.,. Couldn't get fresh thyme so used dried. 2 birds would serve 4 with veg, so we have a lovely meal in the freezer.

brimsdale's picture

This is one of the best recipes I've used for pheasant. Since I couldn't find if there was any marjoram left under the snow I used dried instead. Otherwise I followed the recipe exactly although I didn't make bread sauce. The pheasant was really tender and the delicious smell of Marsala filled the house. The vegetables were beautifully sweet. I will certainly cook this again. I might baste the pheasant with the cooking juices a few times next time.

missflops's picture

I cooked only one pheasant which I jointed into legs and breasts as serving was for my husband and myself only. I used Madeira instead of Marsala and the sauce was delicious, albeit a little thin. I couldn't get fresh marjoram so used dried instead which worked fine. I will make this dish again as its a lovely way to cook pheasant, but next time I would cut the vegetables a little chunkier as the long cooking time meant they were a little on the soft side for our liking. All in all a dish worth trying.

rosiemadi's picture

I used Port instead of Marsala...totally yummy!

cassiepot's picture

This recipe was amazing. I didn't have all the herbs to hand so i used mixed herbs with the bay leaves, i also added celery. I will be making it again for sure!

vickpole's picture

Lovely flavour, the Marsala really made a difference! I only cooked one large pheasant which was a tad dry but it didn't ruin the dish. I added celery and substituted butternut squash for the parsnip and served with mash. I would definitely do this again.


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