The next week or so offers the last opportunity to eat pheasant, as the season is drawing to a close. Pheasant has a tendency to be quite tough if not cooked correctly. I've adapted the usual way of pot-roasting it whole to make it quicker and keep the bird tender.
6 pheasant legs
2 sticks celery
1 bulb of garlic
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsps chopped parsley
3 crushed black peppercorns
½ tsp tomato puree
200ml red wine
300ml chicken stock
In an ovenproof pan add a touch of groundnut oil. Season the meat and sear in the pan till it colours lightly. Remove and set aside. Add the vegetables, garlic, herbs and spices to the pan, then the tomato puree, and cook for two minutes. Put the pheasant legs back into the pan, add the wine and reduce.
Add the chicken stock and enough water to cover the meat and place in the oven for 10-20 minutes at 180C/gas mark 4. The legs will be ready when you can bend them easily. If the sauce is too thin, reduce on the stove (having removed the vegetables and meat).
Serve with crushed swede or mashed potato and finish with chopped parsley.
• Angela Hartnett is chef patron at Murano restaurant and consults at the Whitechapel Gallery and Dining Room, London. Twitter.com/angelahartnett