For the pheasant

  • 1 oven-ready pheasant, legs removed
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 smoked bacon rasher
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 leek, roughly sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 250ml fresh chicken stock
  • carrot purée, to serve (see recipe below)

For the potatoes

  • 1 medium potato (Maris Piper are good)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 100ml fresh chicken stock


  • STEP 1

    Start with the potatoes. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Trim the wider side off the potato and cut into 2 thick slices, so each side sits flat in the pan. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan and fry the bacon for 2 mins until crisp. Push the bacon aside; then, over a very high heat, brown the potato slices really well for about 3 mins on each side.

  • STEP 2

    Add the thyme, splash in the stock and place in the oven while you cook the pheasant.

  • STEP 3

    Season the pheasant really well. Heat the oil in a casserole dish and add the pheasant pieces. Spend about 10 mins making sure the meat is well coloured on all sides, using tongs to turn the pieces when needed.

  • STEP 4

    Remove the meat from the dish and add a splash more oil. Sizzle the bacon for 1 min, then add all the vegetables and the thyme. Turn up the heat and brown the vegetables really well. Nestle the legs amongst the vegetables and sit the breast on top. Place in the oven, uncovered, to roast for 25 mins.

  • STEP 5

    Remove the dish from oven, lift out the breast and leave somewhere warm to rest. Pour the chicken stock over the legs and return to the oven for 20 mins to braise. Meanwhile, gently reheat the carrot purée in a pan, stirring in a touch of butter.

  • STEP 6

    Remove the legs from the dish and set aside. Use a potato masher to squash the veg into the sauce to thicken. Season well and strain the sauce into a bowl. Remove the potatoes from the oven, and finely chop the bacon from the potato pan into small bits – you are now ready to carve the pheasant and plate up.

  • STEP 7

    Neatly cut each breast away from the carcass. Slice into 2 and cut each leg through the joint into 2 pieces. Cut each potato in half on an angle. Smear a large spoonful of carrot purée along one side of the plate. Lean the pheasant pieces against each other and lay a piece of potato alongside. Scatter the pheasant breast with the chopped bacon, spoon over the sauce and serve.


Heat a small knob of butter in a small pan and gently sizzle 3 finely sliced carrots for 5 mins. Pour in 100ml fresh chicken stock and add 1 star anise. Season and simmer for 15 mins until the carrots are really soft – add a splash more stock if needed, but by the time the carrots are cooked you want most of the stock to have reduced. Stir in 2 tbsp double cream and bring back to the boil. Remove the star anise and blend until as smooth as possible.


Comments, questions and tips

Rate this recipe

What is your star rating out of 5?

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Overall rating

A star rating of 4.3 out of 5.7 ratings