Roasting Pheasant
pot roast pheasant

Roasting Pheasant

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4
roast pheasant

Tender and succulent, roast pheasant cooked properly has a subtle game flavour and is a lean healthy alternative to chicken or turkey.


You can get fresh pheasant seasonally from the 1st October to the 1st February. Early season birds are best roasted whereas the later season birds which have running around for a lot longer are best pot roasted.

oven ready pheasant
Oven ready pheasant

Unlike most chickens, pheasants roam the woods and fields, which means their meat is leaner and denser from all the exercise. Their legs particularly benefit from slow cooking to break down the muscle fibres.

A Brace for Christmas?

Why not give the turkey a miss this year and have a brace of pheasants instead? Italians often choose game birds for Christmas day being popular throughout the winter. Add a moist pistachio stuffing, baste with butter and cover the breasts with streaky bacon for a tasty alternative.

brace of roasted pheasants
Alternative Christmas dinner

Cooking Styles

There are two recipes to choose from, one better for early and the other better for late season birds.

Cooking early season birds quickly in plenty of fat and basting regularly works well, while late season birds are best pot roasted low and slow.

I’ve chosen Raymond Blanc’s recipe for roasting early birds and a lovely recipe from Jessica Dady for pot roasting the late ones.

No Thanks, I Like Chicken

If you don’t fancy pheasant and want to stick with good old roast chicken then we have a really good recipe here.

roast pheasant

Roast Pheasant

Oven roasting early season pheasant
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: 🇬🇧 British
Keyword: British, pheasant, roast
Difficulty: Average
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 1498kcal
Author: Raymond Blanc


For the roasted pheasant

  • 2 pheasant 800-900g/1lb 12oz-2lb each, oven-ready, preferably hen pheasants
  • 50 ml rapeseed oil or other non-scented oil
  • 20 g butter unsalted, optional
  • sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the pheasant jus

  • 100 ml red wine
  • 50 ml ruby port
  • 2 juniper berries crushed
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

For the bread sauce

  • 10 g butter unsalted
  • 50 g white onion finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves crushed
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 10 g small bacon lardons
  • 150 ml full-fat milk
  • 1 slice white bread broken into pieces


  • For the roasted pheasant
  • Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas 5.
  • On a medium heat, in a ovenproof frying pan, heat the rapeseed oil and butter (if using) until foaming.
  • Lay the pheasants in the pan, cook until golden-brown in colour (about 3-5 minutes) on the leg sides. Turn the pheasants onto their breast side to colour for a further 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to the oven and cook for 30 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. To check the pheasant is correctly cooked, you can use a meat thermometer – the breast temperature for a cock pheasant should reach 63°C/145°F and for a hen 60°C/140°F. (The leg temperature should reach 80-82°C/175-180°F.) When cooked, set the pheasant aside in a warm place, covered, to rest.
  • Spoon out the fat from the pan and add the wine, port, juniper and thyme into the roasting pan. On a high heat quickly cook until the volume of liquid has reduced by one third. Scrape the caramelised juices off the bottom of the pan to make the jus. Taste and season if necessary. Strain and reserve in a warmed jug.
  • For the bread sauce
  • In a small saucepan on a low heat gently heat the butter and fry the onion with the herbs, crushed cloves and salt for two minutes, or until soft. Add the bacon lardons and continue to cook uncovered for one minute. Add the milk, bring to a simmer and stir in the pieces of bread until the sauce is smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
  • To serve, carve the pheasant and serve it over a mound of bread sauce with the jus poured over.


Calories: 1498kcal | Carbohydrates: 9g | Protein: 158g | Fat: 84g | Saturated Fat: 24g | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g
pot roast pheasant

Pot Roast Pheasant

Pot roasting late season pheasant
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: 🇬🇧 British
Keyword: British, pheasant, roast
Difficulty: Average
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 308kcal
Author: Jessica Dady


  • 1 brace pheasant a cock and a hen
  • 200 g bacon lardons smoked
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 2 onions peeled and cut into wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
  • 4 sticks celery chopped
  • 400 g chopped tomatoes
  • 300 ml chicken stock hot
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tsp (affiliate link)worcester sauce
  • 2 tsp caster sugar
  • salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • 400 g Small potato
  • 2 leeks trimmed and cut into chunks


  • Preheat the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas 3.
  • Put the baco and oil in a frying pan and cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the birds to the pan and cook them for a few minutes on each side to brown the breasts. Put the birds and bacon into a large oven proof casserole dish.
  • Add the onion to the frying pan and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and celery and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, puree, stock, worcester sauce and sugar. Bring to the boil, season well and spoon into the casserole.
  • Cover the casserole and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove the lid, baste the pheasants, re-cover and cook for a further 15-25 minutes until the meat is tender.
  • Remove from the heat and leave to rest for 10 minutes before serving.


Calories: 308kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 8g

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