Preparation: 25 mins
Cooking: 50 mins
Serve with vegetables and the juices.
2 whole pheasants, oven ready
1 litre strong cider
4 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp olive oil
2 English apples (Coxes or Braeburn) peeled, cored and quartered
½ Celeriac, diced into 1cm cubes
1 leek, cut into rings, whites only
2 sticks celery, cut into 2cm pieces
1 onion, peeled and cut through the root into 8 wedges
200g diced smoked bacon
Preheat oven to 160c
Season the pheasants. Heat a large oven- proof casserole dish and add in the bacon and cook until golden, add the pheasants. Seal the birds on all sides until golden brown.
Pour in the vegetables, season and add the cider. Bring to the boil, put the lid on and place in the oven. Allow to cook for 30-40mins. Once cooked remove the pheasants and allow to rest.
Place the casserole dish back on the heat, remove the lid and let the remaining juices reduce by half. Add in 50g butter and season.
Carve the pheasant, allowing one leg, and one breast per person.