Stuffed pheasant

    1 hour 20 min

    Stuffing a small pheasant with a robust sausage-meat mixture helps to make it go that little bit further.

    14 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 plump oven-ready pheasant, about 600–800g
    • 2 smoked, streaky bacon rashers
    • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
    • 150ml soured cream
    • Stuffing
    • 15g butter
    • 2 shallots, finely chopped
    • 2 dried figs, finely chopped
    • 150g sausage meat
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:1hr20min 

    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C (gas 6). Melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, add the shallots and cook very gently for 3 minutes. Add the figs, cook for a further 2 minutes, then tip out into a bowl and mix with the sausage meat. Season lightly.
    2. Rub the pheasant all over with salt and pepper, inside and out, then stuff the neck end with the sausage meat mixture. Secure the flap of skin with a small skewer or cocktail stick and fold the wing tips underneath.
    3. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Lay the bacon over the breast to cover it and also tie in place with string.
    4. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole that will hold the bird comfortably. Turn the bird in the hot oil for 3–4 minutes to sear it all over. Add 3 tbsp water, then cover and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
    5. Remove the bacon and put the pheasant back in the oven, uncovered for 10 minutes, to brown.
    6. Remove the pheasant from the casserole, untie the string and put the bird on a warmed plate. Add the soured cream to the cooking juices and stir on the hob to reduce slightly. Season to taste.
    7. To serve, take out the stuffing and cut into slices, then cut the pheasant into four portions and arrange on plates with a piece of bacon on each. Drizzle over the sauce.

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