Soften the butter. Chop the garlic cloves. Finely chop the juniper berries. Finely chop the onions. Roughly chop the prunes. Chop the fresh sage.
- 1 First, make the stuffing. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and cook the juniper berries, onion and garlic for 3-4 minutes until soft.
- 2 Tip into a bowl and leave to cool slightly, then stir in the breadcrumbs, prunes and sage; season well.
- 3 Heat the oven to 240°C/475°F/gas 9 (220°C for fan ovens).
- 4 Wipe the pheasants inside and out with kitchen paper.
- 5 Spoon the stuffing into the cavities and sit the pheasants in a small roasting tin. Smear the butter over the legs and bacon-covered breasts.
- 6 Roast for 10 minutes, then baste and reduce the oven temperature to 190°C/375°F/gas 5 (170°C for fan ovens).
- 7 Roast for a further 40 minutes.
- 8 Check the pheasants are cooked by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a metal skewer. If the juices run clear, they’re cooked; if the juices are pink, return to the oven for a further 10 minutes and check again.
- 9 Transfer the pheasants to a board and cover with foil.
- 10 To make the gravy, sit the roasting tin on the hob over a medium heat and add the port. Allow to bubble for 2 minutes.
- 11 Stir in the stock and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until slightly thickened.
- 12 Serve the pheasants with the sauce, and accompany with roast potatoes and green beans.
I made for dinner party couldn't get pheasant so used partridge it worked very well. Took advise from review and used less sage for stuffing Very tasty dish will use again
I would put in far less sage if I did again. It overwhelmed all other flavours