This Month's Recipe...

December - Bacon Wrapped Pheasant

From page 306 of The New English Table

If you share your table with a pheasant-loving person, who cannot return from a trip to the butcher's or the countryside without charging through the door clutching yet more of them, fatigue sets in around December. It does not help that the older the bird gets, and the deeper into winter, the more the little traces of yellow fat under the skin disappear and you are left with a bird with no inbuilt basting tool.


Pheasants do not have much of a skin to speak of, so create your own and solve both problems. Buy 225g/8oz very thinly sliced smoked streaky bacon. Lay a few small sprigs of woody herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary – the latter in tiny amounts) on to the skin, season the bird with pepper, then cover with the bacon slices until completely wrapped. Secure with string and roast for 45-55 minutes in an oven preheated to 230oC/450oF/Gas Mark 8. The pheasant is ready when the juices in the leg run clear when pricked with a skewer. Inside, the meat should be as juicy as a pheasant can be. To serve, pull off the bacon wrapper and divide it among the plates, then carve the pheasant.


Make a reservoir of bread sauce to eat with it: 300ml/½ pint hot milk infused for half an hour with 1 chopped white onion, 4 cloves, a few gratings of nutmeg, a bay leaf and 6 crushed pink peppercorns, strained, then reheated with enough dryish breadcrumbs to make a sloppy sauce.


More pheasant recipes and buying advice can be found in The New English Table. Signed copies are available for purchase here.  

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monthly recipe

December - Bacon Wrapped Pheasant

Pheasants do not have much of a skin to speak of, so create your own and solve both problems.