Roast pheasant with bacon
1 pheasant, medium-sized
50ml olive oil
25g butter, softened
1tbsp fresh thyme
3 juniper berries, crushed
sea salt, pepper
2-3 slices of streaky bacon
2 thin slices of lardo (optional)
Place the pheasant in a deep ceramic dish/roasting tin and rub with the olive oil. Season well with the salt and pepper. Mix the softened butter with the thyme and crushed juniper berries and push the butter under the skin over the breast. Lay the strips of bacon over the top of the pheasant, covering the breasts. Place the lardo slices over the legs. Put half the lemon inside the cavity.
I have brought a block of lardo from Italy recently, bought it in the airport in Venice. Lardo is a cured fatback, flavoured with herbs like rosemary.
Put the roasting tin in the oven preheated to 180C and cook for 30-35 minutes.
I served the pheasant with the red cabbage and roast pumpkin slices, which were cooked in the oven at the same time as the pheasant. Drizzly plenty of olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg + sea salt.
I have also made some quince mash. Wrap the quinces in foil and roast for about an hour in the oven at 180C. Remove the foil, and let them cool a bit, before mashing with the fork (discard the harder inner part with the pips). Add 2 tbsp vanilla syrup or maple syrup, 2tsp sugar and cook for 5 minutes in a small pan, stirring a few times. This quince mash goes very well with the game.
The roast pheasant is often served with the bread sauce, but I am not a fan of the bread sauce.
If you prefer, make a quick gravy: collect all the juices left in the tin, add the port or red wine, plus a good tablespoon of redcurrant or quince jelly. Reduce. Pour over the game.
As I am using the local produce, I am adding my recipe post to Shop Local Blogging Challenge.