Casserole Roast Pheasant with Jerusalem Artichokes & Indian Spices from Rory O'Connell.


I love a traditional roast pheasant with all of the time honoured trimmings but this recipe with the use of an Indian spice mixture is a lovely way to ring the changes with this delicious bird.

Pheasants are generally excellent value for money and this technique of casserole roasting produces a very juicy result and is my favoured method of cooking this bird than when dry roasted can sometimes be a little dry.

The spice paste as listed will make twice what you need for this recipe, but I find it so useful that I make the full quantity and keep it in the fridge for up to a week or freeze it. I use it with other birds such as chicken, quail and guinea fowl. It makes a fantastic paste for roast chicken wings.

Serves 4 -6 

  • 2 Pheasants oven ready 
  • 20g butter at room temperature or 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 650g Jerusalem Artichokes, scrubbed and sliced in half lengthways  
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper 
  •  1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves 

Spice paste:

  • 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds, lightly roasted and finely ground 
  • 1 tablespoons sweet paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 level teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 


  1. Preheat oven to 180c/ 350f/ gas 4
  2. Mix all of the ingredients for the spice paste and reserve.
  3. Heat a heavy casserole large enough for the two birds on a gentle heat until quite hot. Smear the butter or olive oil over the breasts and legs of the pheasants and place them breast side down in the heated casserole.
  4. The breasts should sizzle on contact with the casserole, if they do not, remove and allow the casserole to become hotter. Equally, you don’t want to burn the birds so make sure your heat is not too high. Allow the breasts to become a golden brown colour and then remove from the casserole and turn off the heat.
  5. Do not wash out the casserole at this point unless it has over-heated while browning the birds. Place half of the artichokes in the casserole and season with salt and pepper. Smear half of the spice paste over the breasts and legs of the birds and also a little into the cavity.
  6. Reserve the rest of the spice paste for another use. It will keep covered in the fridge for a week or freezes well. Place the remaining artichokes around the birds, season and cover with a tight fitting lid.
  7. Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Test to see if the birds are cooked by checking to see if the juices are clear between the thigh and the breast. I loosen the leg a little and push in a teaspoon to get some of the juices and then can accurately judge the colour of the juices. If they are a little pink, I usually pop the covered casserole back into the oven for another 10 minutes and test it again.
  8. The dish is now finished with tender artichokes and delicious cooking juices that are the sauce and it is ready for serving.
  9. If you wish you can spoon off the small amount of fatty juices from the surface of the sauce, do so with a spoon. I often leave them on the sauce.
  10. Carve the birds on to hot plates or a serving dish. Surround with the artichokes and pour over the hot juices and if using a sprinkle of chopped coriander.

Notes: I love to serve simple boiled green cabbage or curly kale with this dish. York is a wonderful variety of winter cabbage.