A plate serving pheasant braised with leeks, cider & apples

Pheasant braised with leeks, cider & apples

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Prep: 10 mins Cook: 50 mins

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 and extra info

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal874
  • fat52g
  • saturates17g
  • carbs16g
  • sugars15g
  • fibre4g
  • protein66g
  • salt2.2g
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 large pheasants, jointed
  • 2 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced
    Leeks

    Leek

    lee-k

    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 2 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
    Bacon

    Bacon

    bay-kon

    Bacon is pork that has been cured one of two ways: dry or wet. It can be bought as both rashers…

  • 3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

    Thyme

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

  • 2 Bramley apples, thickly sliced
  • 2 tbsp brandy or calvados
    Brandy

    Brandy

    bran-dee

    Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…

  • 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
    Bramley apples

    Bramley apple

    bram-lee app-el

    A large, flattish cooking apple, green in appearance but sometimes with specks of red. The flesh…

Method

  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.

  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.

  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.

  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.

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

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