Roast pheasant with wild mushroom, potato & bacon ragout

Roast pheasant with wild mushroom, potato & bacon ragout

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(5 ratings)

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


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: per serving

  • kcal653
  • fat32g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs38g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre4g
  • protein43g
  • salt1.2g
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  • 25g pack dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 oven-ready pheasant
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 70g pack smoked bacon lardon
  • 2 medium baking potatoes, chopped into small chunks
  • 125ml white wine
  • small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • small handful watercress leaves, to serve



    With deep green leaves, and crisp, paler stems, watercress is related to mustard and is one of…

  • 1 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…


  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.

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Comments, questions and tips

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5th May, 2015
Heeded the warnings about over cooking so did mine in the slow cooker (about 3 hours). Used chopped streaky bacon and ordinary mushrooms, sliced but otherwise kept to the recipe. V tasty.
25th Dec, 2014
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.
23rd Nov, 2014
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.
9th Nov, 2014
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.
27th Jan, 2014
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.
16th Mar, 2013
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!
9th Mar, 2013
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!
2nd Dec, 2012
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!
1st Dec, 2012
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.
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23rd Nov, 2014
The idea is terrific, but the porcini is overpowering and the pheasant is *massively* overcooked, but you can fix it. People always overcook pheasant. Don't! I suggest you cook the veg separately and cut down on the porcini, or use more potato. Cut the legs (inc. thighs) off the pheasant, season and gently pan fry the three pieces in oil/butter for 10 mins or so to brown (don't overdo it) and then roast at 210'C in a fan oven (yes HOT) for 10-12 mins (12-14 mins for a larger bird, e.g. a cock). Remove and rest for 10 mins and then assemble. You probably could sit the pheasant pieces on top of the veg as suggested but, if you do, give the veg a head start, otherwise you'll overcook the pheasant. I suggest you only use the breast meat when you assemble, as the thighs are much gamier and can create a taste clash. The breasts should be *just* cooked - moist and tender, but not pink. Whatever's left you can turn into soup or pheasant 'with cream' (e.g. bechamel infused with a bit of chicken stock & peas, or whatever you fancy). That goes well with white rice.
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