About this recipe:Pheasant is a succulent meat and although higher in fat than other game birds, most of this fat is monounsaturated. Adding split peas to the casserole provides satisfying carbohydrate and thickens the sauce.
25g dried porcini mushrooms
100ml boiling water
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 large pheasant, cut into 4 pieces
50g lean smoked back bacon, cut into cubes
2 celery sticks, diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 large onion, roughly chopped
100g chestnut mushrooms, halved
150g yellow split peas
250ml red wine
300ml chicken or vegetable stock
TO GARNISH chopped fresh parsley
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Method Prep:20min › Cook:45min › Ready in:1hr5min
Put the dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl. Pour over the boiling water and leave to soak for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a large, flameproof casserole over a moderate heat. Add the pheasant pieces and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side to brown well. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Add the bacon to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes until well browned. Add the celery, carrots and onion with the rest of the oil and stir to combine. Reduce the heat, cover and cook gently for 5 minutes until the vegetables are starting to soften.
Stir in the chestnut mushrooms and cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes longer, then stir in the split peas.
Drain the soaked porcini mushrooms (reserve the soaking liquid) and add to the cassrole. Slowly pour in the soaking liquid, leaving any sediment in the bowl. Add the red wine and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Return the pheasant joints to the casserole, cover and cook for a further 20–30 minutes until the pheasant is tender. Sprinkle with parsley before serving.
This dish can also be made with chicken pieces or skinless duck breasts.
The whole dish can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored, covered, in the fridge. Before serving, allow to come to room temperature, then gently reheat over a very low heat.