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A plate serving pheasant braised with leeks, cider & apples

Pheasant braised with leeks, cider & apples

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • More effort
  • Serves 2 - 4

Need an impressive autumnal dish to serve at a dinner party? Try this pheasant with pickled apples, leeks and hazelnuts. Serve with our celeriac colcannon

Nutrition: Per serving


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large pheasants , jointed
  • 2 leeks , washed, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
  • 3 sprigs of thyme , leaves picked
  • 2 Bramley apples , thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp brandy or calvados
  • 800ml dry cider
  • 300ml chicken or game stock
  • 70ml double cream
  • ½ tsp mace or ground nutmeg
  • 50g skinless roasted hazelnuts , roughly chopped

For the pickled apples

  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 juniper berries , crushed
  • ½ Bramley apple , peeled, cubed


  • STEP 1

    For the pickled apples, put the salt, sugar, vinegar and berries in a small pan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat, add the apple cubes and set aside.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided casserole and season the pheasant joints with salt. Brown them all over, rendering out some of the yellow fat into the pan. Remove to a plate and season with pepper. Add the leeks, bacon and thyme to the pan along with a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pepper, and fry until the leeks have softened – about 8 mins. Add the apple slices and cook until starting to colour on both sides.

  • STEP 3

    Spoon in the brandy and cook until evaporated, add the cider and simmer for a few more mins to cook off the alcohol. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a gentle simmer and add the pheasant joints back to the pan, covering with a circle of baking parchment.

  • STEP 4

    After 15 mins, remove the breasts from the pan to a plate and return the circle of baking parchment to the pan. Cook gently for a further 20 mins, then remove all the pheasant pieces from the pan to a plate and turn the heat up to reduce the sauce. Boil hard for a few min until reduced, then stir in the cream and mace and turn off the heat. Return the pheasant pieces to the sauce - the residual heat will warm it perfectly.

  • STEP 5

    Divide the pheasant between plates and spoon over the sauce. Garnish with the pickled apples and hazelnuts. Serve with our celeriac colcannon.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, October 2017

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A star rating of 5 out of 5.2 ratings

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