HOW TO COOK | Roast Pheasant with Red Wine and Juniper

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Learn how to pluck and roast a pheasant and make a red wine and juniper sauce to go with it in this video from the world-famous Leiths School of Food and Wine in the UK. Plus our recipe for Braised Pheasant with Garlic and Wine.

How to Braise a Pheasant

Braising is a cooking technique where you first sear the ingredient in a little fat until it is golden (the caramelisation on the meat adds flavour to the final dish), then cook the ingredient in a small amount of liquid – that could be water, wine, stock or flavoured broth – along with aromatics like onions, spices herbs and garlic. Once you have seared the meat, you place it with the other ingredients into a saucepan or casserole with a tight-fitting lid and leave them to cook in the flavouring liquid. Instead of the liquid evaporating as it would if you left the lid off, the juices rise during the cooking from the liquid you add, hit the lid, condense and fall back onto the ingredients to flavour them and keep them moist.

Recipe | Braised Pheasant with Garlic and Wine

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 pheasant, cut into four pieces (your butcher can do this for you) and dusted with plain flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A good knob of butter
60g bacon or pancetta lardons
1 clove of garlic
300ml white or red wine
300ml of stock or water
1 teaspoon of freshly chopped thyme or parsley


1. Preheat the oven to 140C – 275F – Gas 1.

2. Season the pheasant with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan and when it sizzles add the pheasant pieces and fry on both sides over high heat until golden on both sides. Remove to a casserole or oven-proof dish.

2, Add the bacon or pancetta to the frying pan and cook until golden. Add them to the casserole.

3. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Scrape the garlic into the casserole.

4. Add the wine and stock to the pan and boil. Scrape any bits off the bottom of the pan and pour the mixture into the casserole. Add the herbs to the casserole. Put the lid on tightly lining it with foil if it is loos and bake for an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes or until the pheasant is soft and yielding.

Serve with buttery mashed potatoes or our Pearl Barley Salad.

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