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Pot-Roasted Pheasant with Bacon, Fennel, Leeks and Carrots

Rick SteinThis is one of Rick Stein's recipes which we have kindly had permission to reproduce which should whet your appetite for more.

To find out more about Rick Stein and his passion for seafood have a look at his biography page.

For further information about his restaurants in Padstow, Cornwall, his new cookery school and to see his online delicatessan visit his website - click here.

If you would like to know more about his books and how to order them have a look at our Bookstore which will also link you to Amazon for further details.


1 brace of prepared pheasants
4 rashers Ayreshire bacon, rind removed
50g (2oz) butter
1 fennel bulb, cut lengthways into 8 wedges
1 leek, cleaned, halved and cut into 5 cm (2 in) pieces
2 carrots, peeled, cut in half lengthways and then thinly sliced on the diagonal
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 fresh bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
6 juniper berries
150ml (5fl oz) Chicken Stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Plain boiled potatoes and Braised sauerkraut (details are in Rick Stein's book - Rick Stein's Food Heroes), to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 160C / 325F / Gas Mark 3.
  • Cover each of the pheasants with two of the bacon rashers and tie them in place with string.
  • Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole, add the prepared vegetables, herbs, juniper berries, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 10 turns of the black pepper mill. Turn them over once or twice, cover and sweat gently over a low heat for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender.
  • Rest the pheasants on top of the vegetables, recover and transfer the casserole to the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Then uncover the casserole, increase the oven temperature to 200C / 400F / Gas Mark 6 and continue to cook the pheasants for 15 - 20 minutes until the bacon is crisp and golden and the pheasants are cooked through.
  • Lift the birds onto a plate, cover and keep warm.
  • Add the stock to the vegetables and simmer until reduced to good sauce consistency.
  • Remove the bay leaves and thyme and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
  • Lift the pheasants on to a board, cut off string and then lift off the bacon. Cut off the legs and cut each one in two at the joint. Then cut the breast meat away from the carcass in two whole pieces and cut the meat diagonally into slices.
  • To serve, spoon some of the vegetables and sauce into each warmed plates and place a piece of thigh meat on top. Put the sliced breast meat on top of that and rest a drumstick alongside. Serve with the potatoes and sauerkraut.

Serves 4


To visit Rick Stein's website which features regular new recipes - click here