This is a wonderful dinner for two, with one of the milder game birds. The Roast Pheasant comes with a Bread Sauce, which is a very traditional English sauce served with roast birds, and it goes very well here served with red cabbage.
Roast Pheasant With Bread Sauce Recipe
- 1 Pheasant
- 6 rashers of streaky Bacon
- 3 sprigs Thyme
- olive oil
- 1 Pint Milk
- 6 peppercorns lightly crushed
- 1 Bay leaf
- 25 g Butter
- 3 Pinches of Thyme
- 1 Onion peeled and sliced
- 5 Cloves
- 2 star anise
- ½ medium loaf white bread
- 2 tbsp double (thick) cream
- 2 Slices Bacon
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ½ medium Red Cabbage
- 125 g Butter
- 60 ml malt vinegar
- 170 g Demerara Sugar
Pre heat oven to 190c.
Season the pheasant well with sea-salt and freshly ground black pepper. Wrap the streaky bacon all over the bird (this is to prevent the meat from drying out). Secure this all together using butcher’s string. Finally drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle over some fresh thyme leaves.
The Pheasant needs to be roasted at 190C in the oven and occasionally it needs to be pulled out and basted. Pheasants need to be cooked for about 25 to 35 minutes a kilo, depending on the size of your bird.
Once roasted remove the Pheasant from the oven and rest the bird, breast side down (to catch the juices running back) on a plate – remove the string and take the bacon off, set the bacon to one side and reserve – also keep some of the roasting pan juices.
For The Bread Sauce: Remove any crusts from the bread and cut the slices into rough cubes. Place the bread cubes in a food processor, season with a little sea-salt and black pepper and blitz until well crumbed – add the thyme and blend again for a short burst.
In a small saucepan ‘sweat’ the chopped onion in a little butter, (cook until soft but not brown) then add the cloves, star anise, crushed peppercorns and the bay leaf. Pour over the milk and bring this up to the boil. Taste this sauce and season it again if necessary.
Strain the milk through a fine meshed sieve, using a wooden spoon to push through as much of the spice flavour as possible. Discard the solids left in the sieve and return the infused milk to the heat and gradually add the herbed breadcrumbs in until thickened. Stir in the butter and 2 tbsp of cream, to add a little extra richness and gloss.
For The Red Cabbage: Finely slice the red cabbage and place in a small oven-proof casserole pan. Pour over the vinegar, sugar and butter and mix well. Place on the heat and allow to come to the boil. Cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper and bake in the oven at 180c for approximately 45 minutes – the cabbage should be cooked but still have a bit of bite. Remove from oven, taste and alter seasoning if necessary.
To Serve: Crisp up the bacon (if needed) – pan fry in a little olive oil until the bacon is crispy. Serve a leg and breast of pheasant along side the bread sauce, red cabbage and curls of crispy bacon. Spoon over some of the warm roating pan juices.