You might be thinking roast pheasant sounds rather fancy, but this tasty bird is just as cheap as chicken. At only £1.58 per serving, this meal is ideal if you’re on a budget. Bacon lardons give this dish a smoky undertone which is delicious. Each portion contains only 290 calories and 7g of fat so it’s a rather healthy family meal or dinner party treat. Brown the pheasant breasts before popping into a casserole dish. Let them cook the rest of the time in the broth for tender and flavoursome meat. Serve with new potatoes and softly fried leeks and enjoy.
- 200g smoked bacon lardons
- 1tbsp oil
- A brace of oven-ready pheasant (a cock and a hen)
- 2 onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 4 celery sticks, chopped
- 400g can chopped tomatoes
- About 300ml hot chicken stock
- 2tbsp tomato purée or ketchup
- 2tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- A few parsley leaves
- To serve:
- 400g small potatoes
- 2 leeks, trimmed and cut into chunks
Set the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3. Put the bacon and oil in a frying pan and cook over a med heat for a couple of minutes. Add the birds to the pan and cook them for a few mins on each side to brown the breasts. Put them in a casserole with the bacon.
Add the onion to the pan and cook for a couple of mins. Add the garlic and celery and fry for 2-3 mins. Pour in the tomatoes, stock, purée, Worcestershire sauce and sugar. Bring to the boil, season well and spoon into the casserole. Put the lid on and cook in the oven for 45 mins. Take the lid off, baste the pheasants and cook for another 15-25 mins, until the meat is tender. Leave for 10 mins before serving. Sprinkle with parsley leaves and serve with potatoes and leeks.
For ease of serving, take the birds out of the dish and when cool enough to handle, take the legs, breasts and all the meat off the bone. Put the dish on the hob, put the meat back and warm it through. If you don’t want to use game, cook this recipe with a 1.5kg chicken, adding an extra 30-40 mins cooking time