The Game Season for pheasant starts on 1st October and runs until 1st February so it is worth looking out for pheasant in your local St Albans or Harpenden butchers. If you are a bit more outdoorsy you might even consider trying to shoot some. The Luton Hoo Estate, set in 1200 acres of prime countryside on the Hertfordshire /Bedfordshire border, immediately north of the beautiful towns of Harpenden and St Albans, offer shooting for complete teams of 8 guns and a typical shoot day consists of 4-6 drives.
If you are just looking for something different for Sunday lunch this Pheasant stew with apple and celeriac mash is simpler, seasonal and delicious. You will need:
2 tbsp veg oil
4 pheasant breasts
1 red onion peeled and sliced
1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
125g/4oz smoked streaky bacon, derinded and chopped
1-2 tbsp plain flour
150ml/5fl oz dry cider
450 mls /15fl oz chicken stock
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 sprig thyme
1 bay leaf
500g floury potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Bramley apples peeled, cored and chopped
500g celeriac peeled and cubes
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
2 tbsp sour cream
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the butter and the oil in a large saucepan and brown the pheasant breasts and set aside then add the onion, garlic and bacon and cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is soft.
Stir in the flour and cook for a minute. Add the cider, stock, vinegar, thyme and bay leaf. Season well. Bring to the boil and replace the pheasant pieces. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cover. Cook for 20-30 minutes until the pheasant is cooked and the sauce has thickened. Don't overcook or the meat will dry out.
Meanwhile bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and add the potato, apple and celeriac cubes. Boil until tender, drain, add the parsley and sour cream and some ground black pepper. Mash until smooth. There are lots more pheasant recipes at BBC food: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/search