Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 2 oven-ready pheasants
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large quinces, deseeded and diced
  • 2 glasses of port
  • Zest and juice of ½ orange
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground honey
  • 2 tablespoons double cream
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas5). Melt the butter in a flameproof casserole dish large enough to take the two pheasants whole. Add the oil and brown the birds briefly but thoroughly in the butter and oil. Remove from the casserole dish and set aside. Reduce the heat, add the onion and quinces to the casserole and soften for about 10 minutes. Add the honey, orange zest and juice and ground ginger and season with salt and pepper. Return the pheasants to the casserole. Pour in the port, then cover and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes. When the pheasants are cooked through, transfer them to a serving dish. Set the casserole over the hob and bring up to the boil, stirring and let it reduce the sauce to a good consistency. Then whisk in the cream and a knob of butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning and pour the sauce around the pheasants and serve.