Pheasant and polenta

Slow cooked pheasant and cheesy polenta make a delightful duo in this super supper from Gennaro Contaldo and Mike Robinson
By Mike Robinson
Pheasant and polenta
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 brace of pheasant, (2 birds)
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 220 ml white wine
  • sprig of rosemary
  • sprig of sage
  • 500 ml vegetable stock

To serve:

  • cooked polenta
  • pecorino or parmesan
  • 1 tbsp parsley, chopped

Tips and Suggestions

Regardless of the type of polenta used in this recipe, add 40g of butter to your boiling water and stir until melted before whisking in the polenta grains. Once the polenta is spitting on the heat, remove it and continue to stir but replace the whisk with a wooden spoon. Continue until the mixture comes away from the sides of the pan.

When buying pheasant, the hen is generallly smaller than the cock bird, but the flesh is considered finer. A brace of pheasants (ie 2 birds) will often consist of a hen and a cock bird. Young birds at the start o f the season will respond well to roasting. However, as the season moves on, the birds will become tougher and braising becomes a better opion to keep the birds moist an flavourful.


1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the vegetables. Cook for 5 minutes over a low heat until softened.

2. Add the pheasants and cook until golden on all sides.

3. Add the tomato purée, stir well and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the white wine and leave until the sauce begins to thicken and the alcohol has begun to evaporate. Drop in the sprigs of sage and rosemary.

4. Add the vegetable stock and leave to simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Meanwhile make the polenta according to packed instructions (they will vary according to the type purchased, but see Gennaro's helpful tips in the Cook's Notes).

6. Lay some fine slices of Pecorino or Parmesan on top of the polenta and serve the pheasant on top of the cheese, garnished with fresh parsley.

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