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Adapted from Delia Smith's Pot Roast of Pheasant with Shallots & Caramelised Onions.
I made this the tailend of last year, when 4 pheasants were selling for £10 in our local butchers, or 2 for £6. Apparently, according to Delia, the pheasant season comes to an end in mid-February.
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp sunflower oil
12 shallots or 3 onions, quartered
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 tbsp Calvados or brandy
300ml recently boiled water
1 chicken stock cube
1 tbsp flour
Salt & pepper
Plug in the slow cooker to warm up. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan and brown the pheasants. Once browned, place in the slow cooker. Brown the peel shallots (or onions) in the remaining fat then add to the slow cooker together with the thyme and bayleaf.
Return the pan to the heat. Add the Calvados/brandy if using to scrape any meaty goodness off the bottom of the pan. Add the cider and bring to the boil. Pour over the pheasants. Crumble the stock cube into a measuring jug and add the recently boiled water. Top the slow cooker up with this so the liquid comes about halfway up the pheasants.
Cook on high for 4-5 hours or Auto for 6-8 hours. Serve with mash to absorb all the lovely cidery sauce.
Any leftover liquid can be used as a stock for a soup.
19/01 I am submitting this into Fab Food 4 All & Fuss Free Flavour's Credit Crunch Munch challenge for January 2014 as the pheasant season is still in full swing!