Pheasant Braised in Gin and Juniper
Author: John Ash
  • 1 whole pheasant
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 thin sheet pork fat (or blanched sliced bacon)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3/4 Cup slivered shallots or green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2/3 Cup good gin
  • 1/4 Cup dry Sherry
  • 3 Cups rich game bird or chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons minced parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons butter; optional
  1. Season the pheasant with salt and pepper and truss to help maintain its shape.
  2. Completely wrap the bird with the pork fat, tying with twine if necessary.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed casserole, saute the bird until golden brown on all sides.
  4. Remove the pheasant and pour off the fat. Add the oil and shallots and saute until just beginning to color. Add the juniper, bay leaves and liquids and cover the casserole and simmer for 35 to 45 minutes or until bird is tender (check at leg joint).
  5. Remove the pheasant to a serving platter, discard fat wrap and keep warm.
  6. Strain braising liquid, discarding solids and skim off fat.
  7. Reduce mixture quickly over high heat to a light sauce consistency.
  8. Off heat, whisk in the parsley and butter and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Carve pheasant into serving pieces.
  10. Pour sauce over and serve immediately with roasted young vegetables, if desired.
  11. This recipe yields 2 servings.
  12. Recipe Source: JOHN ASH
Comments: Pheasant has a tendency to dry out and this slow braise keeps it moist. You get a double shot of juniper berry in this recipe because it is the berry used to give gin it's special flavor.

Because older birds are not tender enough to be roasted, they are excellent slowly braised and tenderized in a beautiful sauce. The advantage of a little age is, of course, a lot more flavour, so this is probably one of the nicest pheasant dishes of all. It also improves if you make it the day before you need it and re-heat gently before serving. The recipe is suitable for freezing.
Recipe by Recipes at