This is an excellent method for cooking older birds, such as pheasants, which can be tough and dry. If you cook a few vegetables in the dish, too, they will also add flavour. The liquid of a pot roast, gently reduced by long simmering, turns into an intense sauce. Before cooking, slice 2onions and have ready 2teaspoonscaster sugar, 1teaspooncrushed juniper berries, 2teaspoonsground coriander and 500g (1lb) well-scrubbed whole small carrots. One pheasant serves 2-3.
Alternatively, use your favourite vegetables for other birds. Parsnips and turnips with alittle added honey are successful, as are skinned and chopped tomatoes.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 25g (1oz) butter in a flameproof casserole over a fairly high heat. Fry 1 pheasant on all sides until browned. Remove the pheasant using wooden spoons so the skin isn’t pierced; set aside.
Add the sliced onions and stir until browned. Stir in the caster sugar, juniper berries, ground coriander and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Return the browned pheasant to the casserole on top of the vegetables.
Add 75ml (3fl oz) dry vermouth or white wine, cover and cook in a preheated oven, 160°C, 325°F, Gas Mark 3 for 2–3 hours until tender. Transfer to a warm serving dish.
Remove the vegetables and arrange round the pheasant. To make a sauce add 150ml (¼ pint) double cream to the casserole juices and bring to the boil for about 2 minutes, stirring.