Pot roast pheasant with port

Pot roast pheasant with port

The Frugal Cook
Mike Cooper

Game is one of those ingredients that's frugal (or not) depending on where you live. If you live in a city, it's dear. If you live in the country it can be cheaper than chicken and makes a great show-off meal to give townie guests who come to stay.


Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 pheasants
1 large onions, peeled and roughly chopped
or 2 smaller onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 turnips and/or 2 sticks of celery, peeled or trimmed and sliced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons sweet pimenton
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
100ml inexpensive vintage character or late bottled vintage port
100ml white or red wine
400ml chicken, pheasant or vegetable stock


  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Heat the olive oil and brown the pheasants on all sides. Remove from the casserole and add the vegetables, turning them in the oil. Fry for a couple of minutes then add the garlic and stir. Add the pimenton and cinnamon, stir again and pour in the port. Wait for it to evaporate then add a similar sized glass of white or red wine. Stir, then place the pheasant back over the vegetables. Add half the stock, cover the pan and roast for an hour, turning the pheasant half way through. Take the lid off, increase the heat to 160°C, and cook for another 30-40 minutes until the pheasant is well browned and the liquid reduced, (again, turn it half way through this stage of the cooking time). Remove the pheasant, set aside and rest. Leave the pan juices and vegetables to settle for 10 minutes then carefully skim off the fat. Carve the pheasants and serve with the cooking vegetables and a parsnip mash or other root vegetable puree.


  • An alternative way to serve this for four is just to serve the pheasant breasts (if you serve enough vegetables it doesn't look ungenerous) and save the legs and carcass for other recipes.


  • Cut the remaining meat off the legs and carcass, wrap in foil and refrigerate. Put the bones in a saucepan with a small onion, half a carrot, a stick of celery, a bayleaf and a few peppercorns, bring to the boil and simmer for an hour and a half. Cool, strain and skim then use as the base of a pilaf or soup or freeze for another occasion.

Thirfty tip

  • Leftover port makes a great addition to stews and mulled wine.
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