60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil4pheasant marylands (see note)1onion, coarsely chopped4 cloves garlic, peeled and bruised80 gm pieceflat pancetta, coarsely chopped3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped3carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped20 gmdried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes1 sprig rosemary2bay leaves750 mldry red wine1 tbspbalsamic vinegarPolenta800 ml milk300 gmyellow polenta160 gmparmesan, finely grated60 gmbutter
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.
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.
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.