Roast pheasant with wild mushroom, potato & bacon ragout

Roast pheasant with wild mushroom, potato & bacon ragout

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(3 ratings)


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Cooking time

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins Plus soaking and resting

Skill level



Serves 2

A small pheasant makes an ideal roast for two - serve this earthy game bird with porcini sautéed potatoes

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving

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  • 25g pack dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 oven-ready pheasant
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 70g pack smoked bacon lardons
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 125ml white wine
  • small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • small handful watercress leaves, to serve
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

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  1. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Pour about 200ml of hot water from the kettle over the mushrooms and leave to soak for 20 mins. Drain, reserving the liquid. Squeeze any excess liquid from the mushrooms, but keep them whole.
  2. Generously season the pheasant all over. Heat the sunflower oil in a shallow flameproof dish and slowly brown the legs, turning frequently, for 20 mins. Brown the breast for a further 10 mins, then remove from the dish. Add the bacon to the dish and sizzle until starting to crisp. Throw in the potatoes, increase the heat and fry with the bacon until brown around the edges. Add the mushrooms and fry to heat through. Pour in the wine, sizzle for a moment, and pour over the reserved mushroom liquid, keeping the last drop back as it may be gritty. Nestle the pheasant, breast-side up, in the middle of the dish and roast in the oven for 25 mins.
  3. Remove from the oven, lift the pheasant onto a plate, cover loosely with foil, then leave to rest for about 15 mins. Tip any resting juices into the potatoes, stir in the parsley, then transfer everything into a serving dish. Put the watercress in a bowl and toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the potato ragout and the pheasant ready to carve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, November 2012

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sll79's picture

We wholeheartedly agree with ajf1492. The flavors are great, but the pheasant was massively overcooked with the suggested timings. Shame, as this was our Christmas dinner.

trinaz's picture

Exclusive: Richard Branson reminisces about achieving the first transatlantic crossing in a hot air balloon
To coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Guinness World Records, Sir Richard Branson and Per Lindstrand remember their journey as the first across the Atlantic in a hot air balloon

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6:00AM GMT 09 Dec 2014
To celebrate 60 years of Guinness World Records the organisation has released a number of films celebrating some of the best-loved records made. Here we look at Sir Richard Branson's balloon flight across the Atlantic. For more videos on other records including the world's tallest man, the highest shallow dive and the longest finger nails visit the Guinness World Records's YouTube channel.
The record breaking journey across the Atlantic was made by Virgin group founder Sir Richard Branson and Swedish aeronaut Per Lindstrand from from July 2 - July 3 1987.
The pair crossed the ocean in a “Virgin Atlantic Flyer” which was not only the first hot-air balloon to cross the Atlantic, but was the largest ever flown at 2.3 million cubic feet capacity and reached speeds in excess of 130 miles per hour.
Mr Branson conceeded that the attempt was in part an endeavour on his part to compete with "British Airways and their 350 planes."
"We needed to come up with fun ways on promoting the airline and getting Virgin on the map."
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Virgin Atlantic Flyer,1987 - Guinness World Record
Mr Branson, also broke the record for being the first person to cross the Pacific oceans by balloon in 1991.
The pair's interviews are part of a series of videos being released by Guinness World Records to celebrate their 60th anniversary.
The Atlantic Conquered
In 1978 the Atlantic Challenge was finally conquered. The 3 pilots; Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman, flew the distance in 137 hours, covering 3,120 miles in the Double Eagle II. This was a benchmark in balloon history, the Atlantic had finally been successfully flown!
The 3 pilots all shared a great deal of aviation experience between them, spanning hot air balloons, airplanes and hand gliders. Abruzzo and Anderson unsuccessfully attempted the Atlantic Crossing a year previous in 1977 in the suitably named Double Eagle I. The balloon lifted off from Marshfield, MA on September 9th and crashed into the sea 65 hours, 30 minutes later, just off of Iceland.
There were some major problems along the way before they crashed. The air currents drove the balloon towards Mount Katahdin, the highest point in Maine but they somehow managed to squeeze past without striking anything. Soon after it started to snow and they entered into a ferocious storm off of Canada. The balloon ascended and descended rapidly and they eventually lost the use of their onboard radio. Things rapidly got worse and worse with the balloon having to cope with harsh weather conditions and a large amount of snow and ice.
Eventually they had veered so far off course that they had to abort the mission. They set the envelope free from the balloon and descended towards the ocean. They were picked up by a rescue helicopter and the mission was officially over. This wasn't to be their last attempt though, they would of course come back to try again!

By spring '78 they decided to give the challenge another try. This time they decided to invest in a new pilot and Larry Newman was introduced as the 3rd crew member.
The 3 set of on August 11th from Presque Isle in Maine. The first 4-5 days of the flight went like clockwork, the crew did not experience any of the problems they had had on the previous Double Eagle flight. On August 16th Double Eagle II went through a harrowing experience. The atmospheric conditions surrounding them caused the balloon to drop a staggering 19,500 feet to their lowest point of 4,000 feet. This was, and still is, known as the Big Drop. Luckily they were saved by the sun, which heated the envelope again and the balloon was able to rise and reach its highest point at 24,900 feet.

The flight ran very smoothly from this point on and by the time they had reached the coast of Ireland all 3 knew that this was going to be a successful attempt. They began to discard some equipment, throwing propane and oxygen canisters and batteries into the sea to make the balloon lighter.
Finally they began to gradually descend, once they had reached France. Nobody had ever landed a transcontinental balloon on dry land before, the 3 pilots were about to make history! They actually touched down just outside a small town called Evereux in a large Barley field. Ben Abruzzo, Maxie Anderson and Larry Newman had successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a hot air balloon. They had broken all the previous attempts and had achieved something that no one else had ever done before!

ajf1492's picture

The flavours work very well (yes - it is too salty, but that's fixable), but the pheasant is desperately overcooked. See my 'Tip' for a variation on timing/methods.

loubarkley's picture

Just made this - the ragout is great and the pheasant was well cooked with the timings. I would err on the side of caution when seasoning 'generously' along side the bacon lardons - mine was a little salty. Other than that, it was lovely. Served with cavolo nero instead of watercress and went down a treat.

Lulapie's picture

Cooked this recipe for friends so used 2 pheasants and doubled up on other ingredients. Absolutely delicious!!
Cooked the birds for 35 minutes and were not dry at all, served them with buttered carrots & French beans with garlic.

marzipanfeind's picture
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Agreed - the ragout was delicious. The pheasant I had was plenty big enough for two, but it was a little bit dry, so I'd reduce the cooking time a bit next time. I might try making this again just with a couple of chicken legs, which are ridiculously cheap. The recipe doesn't say what to do with the potatoes while the bird is resting. I put mine back in the oven for the 15 minutes as they looked like they could use more time. They were great (some a bit crispy, some soft), so I'd do that again, but not sure if that's what Barney intended!

clairearblaster's picture
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This is fantastic, I cooked this a while back and the flavours from the potatoes, mushrooms and white wine compliment the pheasant really well. I will be making again!

asa9018's picture

Looks delicious. I better try it out! Giving it a 5 star... looks elegant. Maybe if we make 2-3 pheasants we can have a family dinner! Cha ching!

latkins791's picture
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Mushroom and bacon bit was really tasty but i'm not sure that one pheasant is enough for two people. Maybe we had a particularly small one! Otherwise Lovely.