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Red wine-braised pheasant with polenta

Australian Gourmet Traveller Italian main course poultry recipe for red wine-braised pheasant with polenta

By Rodney Dunn
  • Serves 4
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Red wine-braised pheasant with polenta


  • 60 ml olive oil (¼ cup)
  • 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
  • 800 ml milk
  • 300 gm yellow polenta
  • 160 gm parmesan, finely grated
  • 60 gm butter


  • 1
    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.
  • 2
    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.
  • 3
    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.

  • Author: Rodney Dunn