Roast Pheasant With Celeriac And Bacon
2 x pheasants
100g/3½oz unsalted butter
1 carrot, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 bay leaves
1 onion, chopped
250g/9oz chestnut mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves
small handful fresh thyme leaves, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sauce
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 leek, sliced
200ml/7fl oz cider
1 celeriac, cubed
150g/5oz bacon lardons
100ml/3½fl oz game stock
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped
100ml/3½fl oz double cream
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Place 25g/1oz of butter inside each pheasant. Season generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place a rasher of bacon and a bay leaf on each bird.
Put the onion, mushrooms, carrot, leek, garlic cloves and thyme in a roasting tin and place the birds on top.
Spread more butter over the birds and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon lardons and fry until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon.
Add the leek and celeriac and cook for 6-8 minutes. Return the bacon to the pan. Addthe cider and continue to cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Add the stock and reduce by half again.
Stir in the cream and thyme leaves. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.
To serve, carve the pheasants and place onto serving plates. Spoon the roasted vegetables alongside and spoon over the bacon and celeriac.