Roast Pheasant with Bacon & Poached Pears

Roast Pheasant with Bacon & Poached Pears

Beautifully buttery, juicy pheasant meets salty bacon and sweet parsnips in this comforting roast pheasant dish. The cider and thyme adds rich, comforting autumnal flavours, together with the wine and star anise in the poached pears.


This recipe will make a memorable and special meal in the lead up to Christmas. For perfectly cooked pheasant ensure to cook the birds to 74°C with your Thermapen.

For the pheasant
  • 2 pheasants
  • 50 g butter
  • 100 g bacon lardons
  • 1 celery stick, roughly chopped
  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
  • 8 shallots, peeled and cut into 2
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 500 ml cider
  • 300 ml chicken stock
  • 3 parsnips
  • 100 g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • Vegetable oil
For the poached pears
  • 5 pears, peeled and cored (keep the stalk in tact)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 2 star anise
To make the pheasant
  • Heat oven to 170°C fan/gas mark 5. Melt the butter in a large, non-stick flameproof dish. Season the pheasants, add to the dish and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside.
  • Add the bacon, shallots, celery, carrot and thyme to the dish and cook for roughly 10 minutes until the onion is soft and the bacon is crisp. Pour off any excess fat and return the pheasants to the dish. Pour over the cider and the chicken stock, bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook in the oven until the birds have reached an internal temperature of 74°C, this should take around 25 minutes.
  • Whilst the pheasants are cooking, prepare the parsnips by peeling them. Keep the peel. Cut the peeled parsnips into equal-sized long batons and par boil for a few minutes. Heat a baking tray with some vegetable oil, add the parsnip shavings with a pinch of salt and cook until crisp. Keep these for garnishing. Add the par boiled parsnip batons to the baking tray with a knob of butter and cook until golden all over.
  • Top the parsnips with the toasted hazelnuts and serve with the pheasant, vegetables and a drizzle of the cooking juices.
To make the pears
  • Add the wine, water, sugar and star anise to a large pan. Dissolve, bring to the boil and then allow to simmer uncovered for around 10 minutes.
  • Add the pears, cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until tender. Serve with the pheasant and parsnips.
Products to help you achieve perfection
" I love my Thermapen, it really helps me cook with confidence. As a caterer the health and safety of everyone you cook for is paramount, but that doesn't mean you have to compromise with your cooking. A simple reassuring check with the Thermapen throughout the process is all that's needed to allow you to enjoy, and confidently serve what you've made"
Blog Search

Sign in


My Wishlist0

Your cart

There are no more items in your cart