Mark's Pheasant Stew

An old family recipe that came over from Orleton, England where Mark’s family is from. In order to get him to eat it when he was younger, his family told him the meat wasn’t rabbit. Surprise! It was. But he ended up liking it so much that he’s altered the recipe to include pheasant. Served at the Taber Pheasant Festival, anyone who has tried it is happy he did.


  • 1 lb pheasant (wings, thighs, and drumsticks, skin-on, bone-in)
  • 1/2 lb bacon or pork belly
  • 1 cup white or yellow onions, diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup parsnips, diced
  • 2-3 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup leeks, diced
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 3-4 tbsp flour OR 2-4 tbsp cornstarch, optional
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 6-8 baby potatoes, halved
  • 4 1/4 cups stock (pheasant, chicken, turkey, or vegetable)
  • 3 tbsp sage, fresh, chopped (2 tbsp if dry)
  • 3 tbsp thyme, fresh, chopped (2 tbsp if dry)


  1. Preheat pan and add bacon/pork belly at a medium heat. Render down and remove when meat is crispy.
  2. Season pheasant with salt and pepper. Add to pan with rendered fat. Brown until skin is crispy. Remove from pan.
  3. Add onions, carrots, and parsnips. Sauté for 3 - 5 minutes. Scrape bottom of the pot to help introduce colour and flavour to the vegetables.
  4. Add in garlic, crimini mushrooms, and leeks. Cook for another 4 - 5 minutes. Stir every so often.
  5. Add salt, pepper, paprika, nutmeg, and bay leaves while cooking. *Optional add flour now to form a roux. For gluten-free stew, by-pass this step and reduce later on or add corn starch slurry to thicken.
  6. Add in tomato paste. Let cook for 2 - 3 minutes.
  7. Add red wine to deglaze the pan and to loosen up all of the bits.
  8. Add potatoes, sage, and thyme. Mix well.
  9. Add pheasant back into the pot and stir.
  10. Add stock until everything is covered.
  11. Maintain medium to medium low heat. Stir every so often to ensure nothing sticks or burns to the bottom of the pan.
  12. Allow stew to cook until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 165º F. A good way to test this is the meat will start to easily come away from the bone and the veggies will become very tender to the fork but not mushy.
  13. Remove from heat. Serve with a salad, a nice piece of crusty bread, or biscuits.
  14. Share and enjoy with friends and family.