Pot Roasted Pheasant

Posted By Kerri


This is another recipe from Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries which unfortunately didn’t work out as well as the previous quail dish.

The pheasant is browned in oil and removed from the dish, then some vegetables (celery, garlic, carrots and sage) are added along with the vermouth. The pheasant is returned to the pan and the whole thing cooks in the oven for around 40 minutes.

Pheasant is known for being a little dry, Nigel however reassured us that pot-toasting the bird would keep it moist and juicy. It didn’t. While it had a decent gamey flavour, which was complimented by the vegetables and vermouth, the breasts were dry and chewy.

It wasn’t a complete disaster though because we had plenty of dauphinoise potatoes to fill us up, served with kale and yet more Brussel’s sprouts. The creamy texture of the potato was perfectly balanced by the earthy kale and the slightly bitter sprouts.

Dec 15th, 2008

12 Comments to 'Pot Roasted Pheasant'

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  1. Antonia said,

    Your dauphinoise look divine! I’m sorry to hear that the pot-roast pheasant didn’t work out. I tried this method last winter and was quite successful – the recipe I used is here http://foodgloriousfood-toto.blogspot.com/2008/01/pot-roast-pheasant-with-celeriac-mash.html
    It sounds very similar to what you did, so I’m not sure what went wrong… It may just have been the bird – some are certainly tougher than others.

    Antonia’s last blog post..Slutty spaghetti

  2. Kerri said,

    Thanks Antonia! We normally use single cream for dauphinoise in an effort to be healthy but went all out this time and used double; it certainly made a difference.

    Thanks for the link, I’ll bookmark that for next time.

  3. Helen said,

    Ah that’s a shame your pheasant didn’t work out. It really is a tricky bird to keep moist isn’t it? I’ve only cooked it a couple of times and found the same. perhaps slathering it in butter may help? Then again, slathering anything in butter helps 🙂

    Helen’s last blog post..Sandwiches and The City #2 (Fuzzy’s Grub).

  4. Kerri said,

    The butter is a good idea and you’re right about it helping too, I suspect bacon would work well too 🙂

  5. Nate said,

    I’ve never had pheasant before. Sorry yours got dried out. You might need to start out with a little more liquid.

    Nate’s last blog post..Tau Yu Bak (Pork Braised in Soy Sauce)

  6. SALS said,

    I’ve made the Pot Roast numerous times and each time has been successful. My only thought of the pheasant is that you’ve been sold an ‘old’ bird. I got 3 from our Game Butchers yesterday and they were PERFECT. If you use a reputable Game Butchers (I use Derek Fox – as per James Martin’s programme – as it’s in my local village) and he never sells ‘duff’ birds.

    One thing, I would NEVER EVER buy one from a supermarket !


  7. Stephen said,

    SALS, we got it from our butcher who used to be reliable but we have had a few disappointments lately, so maybe this is another one of those and it was an old bird as you say. We’ll get our pheasant from somewhere else next time we cook one.

  8. SALS said,

    Just searching for this recipe again and have seen my comments from earlier this year – another thing I cook mine in the Rayburn in a huge Le Cruset pot (lid on) at about 150c and I do it much much longer than Nigel says – probably twice the length of time, nothing dries out in these ovens they’re amazing!

  9. Kerri said,

    Perhaps a longer cooking time would be beneficial, thanks for the tip. We don’t have a Rayburn though so will have to take your word for that 🙂

  10. such a shame yours was dry. We did this with friends last weekend, with FOUR pheasants, in a huge Le Creuset casserole, with nearly a whole bottle of vermouth. After nearly an hour of cooking thw brids and veg had thrown copious quantities of delicious juices and all was moist and tender, much the best pheasant recipe I’ve ever cooked. I can only repeat what others have said, that you got duff birds. It is a disappointment when thigs go wrong, isn’t it? But, it still looed pretty tasty in your picture!

  11. mark pritchard said,

    I cooked this but extended the cooking time to almost 2 hours – I reduced the heat to 130c for the last hour. Result was tender meat and richer flavour. I have done this with partridge as well but reduced the cooking time as they are smaller birds.
    Also used a Le Cruset cast iron casserole pot. I shot the birds myself so knew that they were fresh.

  12. Kerri said,

    Thanks, Mark. That’s a great tip.

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