LESLEY WATERS COOKERY SCHOOL 

Pheasant au vin

This is a French classic with a modern slant. This rich ragout of shallots, garlic, prunes, laced with red wine, port and herbs, finished with a hit of dark chocolate, makes a divine robust sauce to serve alongside, pheasant breasts. Serve with creamed potatoes or parsnip and potato mash.

Ingredients

For the sauce:

  • 20g unsalted butter

  • 8 shallots, peeled and halved

  • 1tsp caster sugar

  • 1 clove garlic, crushed    

  • 3tsp flour

  • 200mls chicken stock

  • 300ml red wine

  • 8 prunes halved

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Large sprig fresh thyme

  • 2 tablespoons port

  • 15g very dark chocolate

    
 For the pheasant:

  • 30g butter

  • 4 pheasant breasts

  • 200g black pudding (optional)

  • 12 rashers Denhay streaky bacon

Method

1. In a pan heat the butter. Add the shallots and sugar and fry for 10 minutes until golden. Add the garlic and prunes and fry for a further minute. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Add the red wine, stock, bay, thyme and season with black pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for 8-10 minutes until syrupy and glossy. Add the port and chocolate, heat through and season to taste.

2. Preheat the oven to 200c/gas mark 6.

3. Lay the pheasant breasts on a board and crumble over the black pudding, wrap with the bacon.

4. Heat a large frying pan add the butter and place in the pheasant breasts and cook for 2/3 minutes each side on a medium heat until really golden brown and place in a roasting tin. Place in the oven for approx. 10 minutes. Remove from oven, cover lightly with foil and leave to rest for 5 minutes before slicing each breast on an angle into 2 or 3 slices.

5. To serve, spoon the sauce onto 4 large, warm soup plates and top with the sliced pheasant. Decorate with some fresh thyme sprigs and take straight to the table. Serve with your favourite vegetables.

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