Roast Pheasant with Oatmeal Stuffing

Preparation info

  • Serves

    4–6

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Times Calendar Cookbook

By Katie Stewart

Published 1977

  • About

As a rule game birds are not stuffed, the body cavity is too small to bother with. Pheasant can be an exception and in Scotland it is often served with an oatmeal stuffing. Oatmeal has a nutty flavour and a coarse texture that goes well with game.

Ingredients

  • 1 brace pheasant
  • 6–8 streaky bacon rashers
  • 50 g/2 oz butter
  • flour
  • watercress

    Method

    Have the pheasants prepared and ready for roasting. Trim the bacon rashers and set aside while preparing the stuffing.

    Peel and finely chop the onion. Add to the mixed oatmeal and suet and season well with salt and pepper. Where possible add the mashed pheasant livers as well. Using a fork, stir in about 1 tablespoon water – just enough to moisten the mixture slightly.

    Spoon the stuffing into the body cavity of the birds and press in lightly. Leave the ends of the birds open: the stuffing swells on cooking and takes in the moisture and juices from the flesh. Cover the breast of each bird with the bacon rashers and set them in a roasting tin.

    Add about half the butter to the pan and spread the remainder over the pheasants. Place in the centre of a hot oven (220°C., 425°F., Gas Mark 7) and roast for 10 minutes. Lower the heat to moderately hot (200°C., 400°F., Gas Mark 6) and continue roasting for a further 40 minutes. Baste fairly often and about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time remove the bacon rashers. Baste the birds and dredge the breasts with flour. Baste again and return to the oven to complete cooking time and brown. Serve with a garnish of watercress.