- 2 pheasants or partridges.
- 1 packet of pancetta cubes/lardons or bacon rind cut into small pieces.
- 8 shallots peeled and left whole.
- 3 sticks of celery sliced up into small pieces.
- 2 wine glasses of port or red wine.
- Â½ teaspoon of sea salt.
- 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds.
- 1 dessert spoon of juniper berries.
- 8 freshly ground black or red pepper corns.
- A bunch of fresh thyme – stalks removed.
- 4 oz of unsalted butter.
- Pre- heat oven to 180F – or using roasting oven for Aga.
- Grind in a pestle and mortar salt, peppercorns, cumin seeds and juniper berries until you have a fine powder.
- Clean birds, wash and pat dry.
- Heat 2oz of butter in a heavy casserole dish.
- Add bacon and cook until lightly brown.
- Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and put to one side.
- Brown the birds on all sides in the butter and bacon fat, then remove birds.
- Add another 2oz of butter.
- Add shallots and celery maintain heat and cook until lightly browned – keep them moving.
- Add powder mixture and stir constantly.
- Add port/wine and bacon and keep stirring.
- Once bubbling, add birds on top adding more port/wine/or water if too dry (you need about 1 inch of liquid).
- Add thyme – put a tight lid on the pot and cook birds in the hot oven – 45 mins at 180F.
- Check birds half way and turn them over.
- At the end check juices from birds run clear.
- Slice breast meat/legs and serve with sauce poured over.
Good with carrot and potato puree, baked parsnips.
This recipe has been sent in by one of our customers – Dave Hewson, 2004.
You will need a heavy lid metal casserole/creuset.