Roast pheasant is one of my favourite roasts to cook, partly because it is quick so I don't have to spend all Sunday morning in the kitchen. It's a delicious meat and heathier than pork or beef.
Here's what I do to eat at just after one:
Midday - put the pheasant, breast down, on a rack in a roasting pan. Cover with foil and pop in the top oven .
Next - potato wedges; a quick alternative to roasties. Slice potatoes into wedges, put on a backing tray, generously cover with oil (I like rapeseed oil), make sure the wedges are completely covered. I just roll them over with my hands. Put the tray on the floor of the bottom oven.
Cheats' Bread Sauce - put a couple of handfulls of bread crumbs in a saucepan with a small peeled onion and a few cloves. Add milk so that the bread crumbs are just covered. Put in the bottom oven. This isn't quite as nice as breadsauce cooked in a double saucepan but it's pretty close, masses quicker and saves that all important heat! Check and stir every 15 mins or so, add more milk if needed.
Check and turn potatoes every 10 minutes or so.
Then - prepare vegetables. I steam my vegetables as this helps to stop the aga temperature dropping and gives lovely fresh tasting results. This weekend we had homegrown: sweetcorn, carrots, mangetout, carrots, courgettes, runner beans and french beans. The steamer was so full it took a bit longer than normal to cook everything. Put the vegetables on to cook as appropriate - in my case at 12.45.
Check the pheasant. When it is done the flesh will have shrunk back on the leg bones and the juices will run clear. Pull a leg out from the body (don't break it off though) and check the colour of the juices. If needed remove the foil and cook for 5 or 10 more minutes to crispen the skin.
When it's done take the pheasant out and put on a plate or carving board, cover with foil and allow to rest.
Gravy - deglaze the roasting pan by adding a tablespoon of flour to it and stiring it with a wooden spoon on the simmering plate of the aga for a couple of minutes. Add about a mug of water from your now cooked vegetables and stir vigourously. I have a gravy strainer, it you don't I recomend one! Strain off the oil from the top of the pan and heat the remaining liquid in a small saucepan until it bubbles, stir continously. Add a teaspoon of redcurrant jelly if you have any and salt if you wish.
Lunch is ready!