Braised Pheasant

An eighteenth-century Scottish recipe which is very simple but outstanding. Grouse were treated in the same way. The birds were intended to be served in the casserole in which they cooked, one for each person, with no accompaniments except bread. The chutney both sweetens and sharpens the sauce and improves the consistency.


  • 1 pheasant (enough for 3 or even 4)
  • 3 medium onions
  • 3 oz. (90 g.) butter
  • 2 tablespoons of good, sweet tomato chutney
  • 1 glass of red wine
  • 1 pint (6 dl.) of very good stock
  • pepper and salt
  • 1 dessertspoon cornflour to thicken gravy


Peel and cut up the onions and brown lightly in the butter, being careful not to burn. Remove to the casserole, and brown the pheasant on all sides in the butter. Put on top of onions. Add chutney, wine, stock and seasoning. Closely cover and simmer 1 hour in the oven at 300° F., gas mark 2–3. Reduce heat if it bubbles fiercely. Take out, check seasoning and serve on a flat dish with gravy and onions poured over. The bird will almost fall apart but will have a very rich flavour. If you prefer a thicker gravy, pour off stock into small saucepan and bring to boil. Mix the cornflour with a little water, pour in some of the stock, stir well and pour into the remaining stock in saucepan. Boil for 3 minutes and pour over bird.