Pheasant with pearl barley
- October 2010
- Serves 4
- Takes 40 minutes to make, 1 hour 20 minutes to cook
This pot-roasted pheasant with pearl barley and root veg is a fabulous alternative to a traditional Sunday lunch.
- 26.2g (11.6g saturated)
- 42.1g (14.6g sugar)
- 600ml chicken stock
- 100g pearl barley
- 1 tsp salt
- 50g goose fat, duck fat or butter
- 2 plump, oven-ready pheasants
- 4 unsmoked rindless back bacon rashers
- 8 shallots, peeled
- 275g carrots, cut into 3cm chunks
- 225g parsnips, cut into 3cm chunks
- 150g celeriac, cut into 3cm chunks
- 2 celery stalks, cut into 3cm lengths
- 1 leek, cleaned and thickly sliced
- Large sprig of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 12 juniper berries, crushed
- 250ml Marsala, Madeira or medium-sweet sherry
- Bring 350ml of the chicken stock and 50ml water to the boil in a pan. Add the pearl barley and ½ tsp salt. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes until the barley is cooked al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat the fat or butter in a large, flameproof casserole. Season the pheasants inside and out, then brown them lightly all over. Lift out with a slotted spoon and leave to cool slightly. Lay 1 bacon rasher over each of the breasts (2 rashers per bird) and tie in place with string.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Add the shallots to the pan and brown all over. Add the other veg, rosemary, ½ tsp salt and some black pepper. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring now and then, until the veg are golden and half-cooked.
- Mix the bay leaves and juniper berries into the vegetables with the cooked pearl barley, Marsala, Madeira or sherry and the remaining chicken stock. Rest the pheasants on top, bring to the boil on the hob over a high heat, then cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and cook for a further 10 minutes to brown the bacon. Remove from the oven, cover again and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
- To serve, lift the pheasants onto a board, cut off the string and lift off the bacon. Carve off each breast in one piece and remove the legs, then thinly slice the breast meat. Season the vegetables to taste, then spoon onto warmed plates and place some of the pheasant on top. Spoon over the juices and serve.
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