Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking: 75 mins
Carve the pheasant and serve with the bacon, game chips and cider sauce. Wilted chard or spinach makes an excellent accompaniment.
For the pheasant
25 g butter
1×1.25 kg pheasant
4-6 smoked streaky bacon rashers
Freshly ground salt and black pepper
For the game chips
375g potatoes sunflower oil, for deep frying
For the cider sauce
25g butter 1 onions finely chopped
20g plain flour
300 ml cider
300 ml chicken stock
Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4Smear the butter over the pheasant, season with salt and black pepper and layer over the bacon.
Roast for about 1 hour and 20 mins. Test to see whether they are cooked by piercing a leg at the point where it joins the body – if the juices run clear, it is ready. If not, pop back in the oven and test again after 10 minutes.
Cut the potatoes into thin slices. Heat the oil in a deep fat fryer to 180C. Cook the potatoes for 4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Drain and place on several layers of kitchen paper to absorb excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and keep warm.
For the sauce, fry the onion in the butter until softened. Sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Gradually pour in the cider and stock, stirring constantly until slightly thickened. Add the thyme. Simmer for about 10 minutes over a moderate heat, until reduced by about half. Season to taste.