Now in season, here is a great roast pheasant recipe, serve with bacon, game chips and cider sauce. Pheasant is the most plentiful of Britain’s game species and probably the best known. The season for pheasant starts at the beginning of October and runs through to February.

Young pheasants are delicious roasted (older pheasants are best pot-roasted or used in casseroles). One pheasant will serve two to three people depending on its size and can be served slightly pink. Not just very tasty, game is one of the healthiest meats available low fat, low in cholesterol and high in protein.

This pheasant recipe comes from Game to Eat. They have lots of information about game along with a selection of game recipes. They produce their own free recipe books which are available in the shop. If you are looking for some cooking ideas for game cooking come in and pick one up.

Serves:  2 or 3
Preparation: 10 mins
Cooking time: 75 mins

Ingredients for Roast Pheasant

For the pheasant
25 g butter
1 pheasant  Morley Butchers
4-6 smoked streaky bacon rashers from Morley Butchers
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
1tsp thyme

Cooking Roast Pheasant

Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4

Smear 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.

Serving roast pheasant

Carve the roast pheasant and serve with the bacon, game chips and cider sauce. Wilted chard or spinach will make an excellent accompaniment.