For the pheasant:

  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 oven-ready pheasant (about 650g)
  • 6 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 1 tbsp soft butter

For the cabbage:

  • 1 sweetheart or pointed cabbage
  • 25 g butter

For the grapes:

  • 350 g seedless red grapes
  • 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves only


  1. 1

    Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7.

  2. 2

    Crush the garlic cloves with the flat of your knife or in a mortar. Rub the bird with one crushed garlic clove, half the thyme, the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Lay the rashers of bacon in a lattice over the breasts of the pheasant. Put the remaining garlic, thyme sprigs and the butter into the cavity.

  3. 3

    Place the pheasant in a small roasting tin and roast for 10 minutes. Baste with the cooking juices and return it to the oven. Roast for a further 15-20 minutes, basting a couple of times.

  4. 4

    Meanwhile, pull the grapes off their stalks, rinse, then pierce them a couple of times with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer to a baking tray, drizzle with the olive oil and honey, sprinkle over the picked thyme leaves and a pinch of salt. Shake the tray gently to combine.

  5. 5

    Remove and discard the outer leaves of the cabbage, then cut in half. Separate the leaves and trim off the hard centre stalks; roughly chop.

  6. 6

    To check the pheasant is cooked, pierce with a skewer – the juices should run clear and there should be no pink meat. Take out of the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest.

  7. 7

    While the pheasant is resting, roast the grapes in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until blistered and soft. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Cook the cabbage in the water for 3 minutes until tender. Drain, add the butter, grapes and their cooking juices and season with salt; toss together.

  8. 8

    Take the pheasant to the table whole, smothered in its juices; serve with the cabbage and grapes.

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 3115kj 744kcal 37%
  • Fat 29.4g 42%
  • Saturates 11.9g 60%
  • Sugars 56.5g 63%
  • Salt 0.4g 7%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 532kj/127kcal

Each serving provides

58.8g carbohydrate 8.5g fibre 56.9g protein

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