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Red wine-braised pheasant with polenta

You'll need

60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 4 pheasant marylands (see note) 1 onion, coarsely chopped 4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised 80 gm piece flat pancetta, coarsely chopped 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped 3 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped 20 gm dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes 1 sprig rosemary 2 bay leaves 750 ml dry red wine 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar   Polenta 800 ml milk 300 gm yellow polenta 160 gm parmesan, finely grated 60 gm butter


  • 01
  • Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based casserole dish, add pheasant in batches, and cook over high heat, turning occasionally, for 6 minutes or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate. Add onion, garlic and pancetta and sauté for 6 minutes or until onion is soft, add celery and carrot and sauté for a further 3 minutes, then return pheasant to the pan. Add porcini and soaking liquid, herbs and red wine, bring to the boil, cover and roast at 150C for 3 hours. Stir through balsamic vinegar.
  • 02
  • For polenta, bring milk and 1 litre of water to the boil in a large saucepan and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add polenta in a thin stream, whisking continuously. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally using a wooden spoon and adding more water as needed, for 1½ hours or until smooth and creamy. Stir through parmesan and butter, season to taste and keep warm until required.
  • 03
  • To serve, spoon polenta among plates and top with braised pheasant.

Note Pheasant marylands are available from Game Farm. Alternatively, 2 whole pheasants can be used, cut into 6 pieces each.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Featured in

May 2007

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