pheasant simmered in milk, cream and celeriac

Prep: less than 30 mins, Cook: 30 mins to 1 hour, Serves 2

This is such an easy and delicious way to roast a pheasant. Just serve with simple green veg.

By Theo Randall
From Saturday Kitchen

1 ready-to-roast pheasant (about 1kg/2lb 4oz)
1 sprig rosemary
4 slices pancetta
1 small celeriac, peeled and cut into 1cm/½in cubes
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp dry Marsala wine
300ml/10fl oz milk
50ml/2fl oz double cream
1 garlic clove, sliced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

Stuff the pheasant with the rosemary and season all over with salt and pepper (inside and out). Wrap the pancetta slices over the pheasant to protect the breasts and tie string around the bird so that the pancetta is secure and will not fall off. Set aside.

Cook the celeriac in a saucepan of boiling water for about 10 minutes, or until a knife will go through the pieces easily. Drain and put to one side.

Heat a heavy-based ovenproof pan, add the oil and sear the pheasant to give it a light golden colour all over. Remove the pheasant from the pan and discard the fat. Add the Marsala and boil for 1 minute to reduce the volume of liquid. Add the cooked celeriac, milk, cream and garlic and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat.

Return the pheasant to the pan and cover with baking paper. Roast for 12–15 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the pheasant thigh is pricked with a skewer. Remove the baking paper and return the pan to the oven to cook for a further 5 minutes so that the juices can reduce and the pheasant can get a little more colour.

Transfer the pheasant to a chopping board and leave to rest for 10 minutes (keep the celeriac warm). Remove the string and, using a sharp knife, cut along the breastbone to take off the breasts. Then cut off the legs.

Divide the breasts and legs between two warmed plates and spoon over the celeriac and creamy cooking juices. Serve with some simple steamed spring greens tossed with good olive oil.