Pot Roast Pheasant with Beetroot and Figs
By Xanthe Clay - The Telegraph website
This is a good method for guinea fowl too.
6 slices of streaky bacon
7oz/200g cooked beetroot (not with vinegar)
Sprig of thyme
5oz/150g dried baby figs
¼ pint/150ml white wine
2 fresh figs, cut into eight to finish
- Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/gas mark 3.
- Chop three of the streaky bacon slices into matchsticks and cut the beetroot into chunks.
- Put the chopped bacon, beetroot, thyme and dried figs in the bottom of a lidded casserole (one of which can go on the hob as well as the oven). Pour over the wine and add a cupful of water.
- Season the pheasants with salt and pepper and put them on top, breast side down.
- Cover the casserole with foil and put the lid on top to make a tight seal. Bake for 90-120 minutes, until the birds are tender.
- Turn the oven up to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.
- Remove the lid and foil and turn the birds breast up.
- Cut the last three slices of bacon in half and lay over the breast of the pheasants. Return them to the oven uncovered and roast for 10-15 minutes until browned.
- Remove the pheasants to a serving dish and keep warm. Put the casserole on the hob and boil to reduce the juices if necessary, to make a sauce consistency.
- If it needs a lot of thickening (it depends if the figs have burst or stayed whole), then scoop out a few of the figs and some of the juice and purée with a hand blender before returning to the pot.
- Stir in the fresh figs and warm through. Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning.
Serve with mashed potato (or game chips – deep-fried, thinly sliced potatoes – for traditionalists) and fresh watercress.