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Traditional Roast Pheasant With Madeira Sauce

Evan's picture
  Pheasants 2
  Streaky bacon rash 8 , rind and bones removed
  Unsalted butter/50 grams 2 Ounce
  Bisto powder/1 teaspoon 5 Milliliter
  Oil/1 tablespoon 15 Milliliter
  Onion 1
  Gravy/400 milliliter 3⁄4 Pint (made with Bisto Rich Gravy Granules for Chicken and boiling water)
  Bisto rich gravy granules for chicken 20 Milliliter (For gravy)
  Boiling water/400 milliliter 3⁄4 Pint (For gravy)
  Sercial madeira/50 milliliter 2 Ounce

Pheasants can be rather dry, but covering the breasts of the birds with bacon while they cook keeps the flesh tender and succulent.
The Madeira sauce can be made ahead and reheated when needed - add the cooking juices from the pheasant to it just before serving.
Preheat the oven to 220oC/425°F/Gas Mark 7.
Rinse the pheasants in cold water, pull out any remaining feathers and check that no shot is still lodged in the flesh.
Wipe the birds with kitchen paper.
Truss the legs together with thin string and place the pheasants side-by-side in a roasting tin.
Place the bacon over the breasts of the birds and secure with wooden cocktail sticks.
Mix together the melted butter and Bisto Powder and brush over the birds.
Roast for 10 minutes; then lower the heat to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5, and roast for a further 35 minutes.
Remove the bacon and baste with the cooking juices.
Roast for another 10 minutes or until the juices run clear when a skewer is pushed through the thickest part of the leg joint.
Transfer to a carving dish and remove the trussing string.
Keep warm.
To make the Madeira sauce: heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the onion gently until soft and starting to brown.
Add the gravy and Madeira and simmer for 10 minutes until reduced by about a third.
Skim excess fat from the cooking juices in the roasting tin, pour in the Madeira sauce and bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the tin with a spatula.
Allow to bubble for 1-2 minutes and strain into a warmed gravy boat.
Serve the pheasants garnished with tail feathers, fried apple rings (if liked) and a bunch of watercress.
Accompany with game chips, bread sauce and the Madeira sauce.

Recipe Summary

Main Dish

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Traditional Roast Pheasant With Madeira Sauce Recipe