• Pheasant
The rich gamey character of well-hung pheasant is a great British tradition. For many years it has had an exclusive tag attached and looked upon as an indulgence of the well-heeled and deep pocketed. But many game birds are now bred for the table, which explains why they're easier to buy from butchers then they were a couple of years ago.
The game season
Pheasants are protected by law, and their game season runs from 1 October to 31 January. Like most game birds, pheasants are hung for 3-10 days - the longer it's hung, the stronger the flavour.

In the kitchen...
When cooked with care, pheasants can be deliciously succulent. They are however, lean birds, and have a tendency to dry out in the oven. It's a good bet to cover the breast with streaky bacon, or baste it with butter during cooking - this keeps the meat moist while it's roasting.

Classic accompaniments to roasted birds include thin gamey gravy and bread sauce. Older birds are best braised or used in a casserole - the slow cooking works wonders when tenderising the meat.

Pheasant has a rich and full-bodied flavour, which works well with fresh flavours such as orange, cider, apples and redcurrant jelly.