Serves: 4

Difficulty: Hard

Preparation time: 30 mins plus 6 hours marinating

Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 2 pheasants; remove the legs and the thighs and separate them; cut away the back bone with scissors and reserve; leave the breasts on the bone but cut evenly lengthways through the middle of the bone to separate them and make two breasts
  • 1 litre red wine, Rhone style or a full bodied wine
  • 150g carrots, peeled cut into chunks
  • 200g button onions, peeled
  • 250g button mushrooms, stalks removed, wiped
  • 150g back bacon, cut in medium diced lardons
  • 6 Tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 6 crushed juniper berries
  • 50g butter and 50g flour cooked into a white roux
  • 200mls chicken or veal stock
  • 2 Tablespoons of flat parsley sprigs


Put the pheasant meat (not the backbone) in a large bowl, cover with the wine, 2 tablespoons of oil and the juniper berries. Cover with cling film and marinate in the fridge for six hours.
Drain through a colander, into a saucepan.

Boil the wine on medium heat for 2 minutes. Seal the pheasant meat in a very hot frying pan with the rest of the oil and reserve. Colour the lardons in the same pan and reserve.

In a cocotte, put the pheasant legs and thighs, backbone of the pheasants and wine marinade.  Bring to the boil; skim if necessary; add the bouquet garni, garlic, carrots and onions. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes. Add the pheasant breasts, lardons and mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes.

Strain the juices into a saucepan, discard the bouquet garni and backbone and cover the meat and vegetables with a damp cloth and keep warm.

Add the cold roux to the cooking juices, put over heat and whisk constantly until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (4-5 minutes).

Add the pheasant and vegetables back into the sauce and simmer for 3-4 minutes until hot through. Serve in a deep bowl or plated, scattered with the parsley and boiled potatoes and deep fried croutons (optional). 

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