Pheas­ant braised with leeks, cider & ap­ples

BBC Good Food - - Update -

SERVES 2-4 PREP 10 mins COOK 50 mins MORE EF­FORT

2 tbsp olive oil

2 large pheas­ants, jointed

2 leeks, washed, trimmed and sliced

2 rash­ers of smoked streaky ba­con

3 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked

2 Bramley ap­ples, thickly sliced

2 tbsp brandy or cal­va­dos

800ml dry cider

300ml chicken or game stock

70ml dou­ble cream

½ tsp mace or ground nut­meg

50g skin­less roasted hazel­nuts, roughly chopped for the pick­led ap­ples

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp caster sugar

2 tbsp cider vine­gar

2 ju­niper berries, crushed

½ Bramley ap­ple, peeled, cubed

1 For the pick­led ap­ples, put the salt, sugar, vine­gar and berries in a small pan and bring to the boil. Re­move from the heat, add the ap­ple cubes and set aside.

2 Heat the oil in a heavy-bot­tomed, high-sided casserole and sea­son the pheas­ant joints with salt. Brown them all over, ren­der­ing out some of the yel­low fat into the pan. Re­move to a plate and sea­son with pep­per. Add the leeks, ba­con and thyme to the pan along with a pinch of salt and a good grind of black pep­per, and fry un­til the leeks have soft­ened – about 8 mins. Add the ap­ple slices and cook un­til start­ing to colour on both sides.

3 Spoon in the brandy and cook un­til evap­o­rated, add the cider and sim­mer for a few more mins to cook off the al­co­hol. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Re­duce to a gen­tle sim­mer and add the pheas­ant joints back to the pan, cov­er­ing with a cir­cle of bak­ing parch­ment.

4 Af­ter 15 mins, re­move the breasts from the pan to a plate and re­turn the cir­cle of bak­ing parch­ment to the pan. Cook gen­tly for a fur­ther 20 mins, then re­move all the pheas­ant pieces from the pan to a plate and turn the heat up to re­duce the sauce. Boil hard for a few min un­til re­duced, then stir in the cream and mace and turn off the heat. Re­turn the pheas­ant pieces to the sauce - the resid­ual heat will warm it per­fectly.

5 Di­vide the pheas­ant be­tween plates and spoon over the sauce. Gar­nish with the pick­led ap­ples and hazel­nuts. Serve with the cele­riac col­can­non.

GOOD TO KNOW iron • 1 of 5-a-day PER SERV­ING 874 kcals • fat 52g • sat­u­rates 17g • carbs 16g • sug­ars 15g • fi­bre 4g • pro­tein 66g • salt 2.2g

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