Winter Pheasant & Partridge casserole

Winter Pheasant & Partridge casserole – a hearty casserole dish

Why not use this seasonal game in a tasty casserole?
Don’t be put off by it’s gamey flavour – it isn’t at all gamey if you just hang it for only 2 or 3 days form it’s hooting date.
They make great curries as well – a cross between chicken and beef in texture.
Pheasant season is Oct 1 – Feb 1 and Partridge is Sep 1 – Feb 1 (England and Wales)
Pheasant can be a very hard and dry meat to eat – if you just roast it like a chicken – partridge is slightly better, but can still be tough.
By casseroling these meats they become tender and make great flavours – works well with Grouse as well…

To start with either ask your butcher to sort out some Partridge and Pheasants breasts for you or go to  and do it yourself.
You can use the legs as well – but they are not really required for this recipe.
Like all recipes – this is merely a guide and alter it according to your taste…. it’s not carved in stone.


For 4 people or 2 big servings –

2 pheasants (preferably 2 hens – breasts are smaller and more tender) – breasts stripped out
2 partridge – beasts stripped out
Pancetta – or 4 slices of streaky bacon – use smoked if you want that flavour. (this increases the fat content aa well as adding flavour)
Medium onion and carrot and 2 sticks of celery (optional) – and garlic – all finely chopped
1 tin tomatoes (can be made without tomatoes)
Squeeze of tomato puree
Red current jelly
Cranberry jelly
Red wine and chicken stock – (can be made with out the red wine – but it adds to it)
Bay leaf and herbs of your choice – thyme works well


On a medium heat in a pan – Fry the pancetta or streaky bacon until browned
Add the onions and carrots – finely chopped  – cook for a few minutes and add the garlic, for 1 minute (don’t burn it)
Chop up the breasts quite small (less than 1/2 inch cubed)  – do not be tempted to leave them large as it will be dry and hard
Add the breasts to the pan – and add some sunflower oil if you think there is not enough fat in there – fry until colored
Add 1 tin tomatoes a Squeeze of tomato puree – stir
Add Red wine and chicken stock – bring it all to the boil stirring
Add a couple of teaspoons of Red current jelly and Cranberry jelly
Add Bay leaf and herbs of your choice – thyme works well

Turn it into a casserole dish and cook for 2 hours at gas 2 – low heat…
Keep checking it doesn’t dry out – add water if required.

Serving it:

Serve with veg of your choice – mashed potato, green beans work well