Take a road sadly less travelled these days while preparing your meat with this hay baked pheasant recipe.

In season from now until February 1 (you already know that), pheasant is the perfect alternative to the all too boring ‘c’ word. Baking in hay is an old method but that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to add something extra: the hay will keep the heat in during cooking and will give the meat a grassy flavour. We were in France on a boar hunt recently and hay baked muscles formed part of the apres-shoot dinner. To say they hit the spot is an understatement, but how could they not, especially when the hay was in bales and the fire they lit under the muscles could probably be seen from Carcassonne to the Eiffel Tower!

Ingredients for this hay baked pheasant recipe

This hay baked pheasant recipe serves four

2 oven-ready pheasants

2 celeriac

500ml cider

Fresh hay

Cornish sea salt

Milled black pepper

Method for this hay baked pheasant recipe

Sear the pheasant and celeriac in a hot pan and season well.

Soak the hay in cider.

Place the hay in a roasting tray and nestle the pheasant and celeriac inside and cover.

Roast in a hot oven (180ºC) for 50 minutes (depending on size).

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes before serving.

Remember the pheasant will carry on cooking with the residual heat.


 

In his role as development chef for Game-to-Eat Lee Maycock runs a number of game cookery workshops