Pheasant Key facts The pheasant is our most common game bird and is native to Russia. It occurs all over Europe, but not in Africa and has been naturalised in Britain since the 10th century AD. Many pheasants are reared for sport rather than the table. They benefit from hanging to develop the flavour of the meat.

With all game birds, care is needed to avoid overcooking, which can make the flesh dry.

Younger pheasants roast perfectly if you are careful to rub butter into the skin and wrap them in fat bacon and begin the roasting by covering them loosely in foil.

Older birds towards the end of the season (late January/February) are better casseroled.

The hen pheasant is smaller and will serve two people perfectly, while the cock bird is larger and may even serve three. For a casserole for four people, a brace, one of each, would fit the bill perfectly. And a good thing to remember here is that cold pheasant is excellent in sandwiches.

Related Recipes
Roast Pheasant with Chestnut Stuffing and Port and Chestnut Sauce Serves 4

Roast Pheasant with Chestnut Stuffing and Port and Chestnut Sauce

A superb recipe for entertaining, this brings out the full flavour of pheasant, one of Britain's most underrated ingredients to be enjoyed in autumn and winter, during the game season.

Pheasant Roasted in Butter Muslin Serves 4-6

Pheasant Roasted in Butter Muslin

During the pheasant season it's well worth making the most of this traditional game bird. Roasting it in muslin is a great way of preventing it from drying out, keeping the flavourful meat full of succulence.

Pot-roasted Pheasant with Port and Chestnuts Serves 4

Pot-roasted Pheasant with Port and Chestnuts

A superb alternative to turkey at Christmas and throughout the game season, this pheasant dish is crammed with robust flavours and wintry sustenance.

Pheasant Terrine Serves 10-12

Pheasant Terrine

This very rich terrine is a wonderful, prepare-ahead starter or component of a buffet spread. Alternatively serve it with pickles and good bread for a lunchtime feast.

Pot Roast of Pheasant with Shallots and Caramelised Apples Serves 4-6

Pot Roast of Pheasant with Shallots and Caramelised Apples

Pot-roasting is a wonderful way to ensure tender meat and plenty of flavour. The joy of this dish is that, once you've done the initial preparation, you just leave it to bubble away, filling your kitchen with lovely aromas.

Braised Pheasants in Madeira Serves 4-6

Braised Pheasants in Madeira

A great recipe to make ahead, this one makes the best use of older birds which respond beautifully to braising with, in this case, a lovely rich Madeira sauce.




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