Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
• 2 small pheasants, pluckedand gutted
• 6 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 sprigs thyme
• 2 bay leaves
• 6 cloves pink garlic, unpeeled and crushed
• 1 kg/2¼ lb wild mushrooms
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• salt and freshly ground pepper
• mashed potatoes, to serve
Season the pheasants with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large flameproof casserole (Dutch oven) over high heat, add the pheasants and sear for 10 minutes, or until coloured all over. Add the thyme, bay leaves and crushed garlic, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, turning the pheasants over occasionally.
Add the mushrooms and remaining oil to the casserole and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar and deglaze by scraping the cooking juices off the bottom of the casserole witha wooden spoon or fish slice (spatula) and incorporating them into the vinegar, then simmer for 5 minutes to reduce the liquid. Pour in 200 ml/7 fl oz (scant 1 cup) water, cover and simmer for another 20 minutes over very low heat.
Adjust the seasoning, if necessary, discard the bay leaves and serve the pheasants with the mushrooms and some mashed potatoes on the side.
This recipe features in 'Recipes from the Woods' by Jean-Francois Mallet and published by Phaidon, more information on the book can be found here