Pheasant Souvarov

Food Network Canada
4 servings

Recipe Courtesy of Michael Bonacini, Cook Like a ChefSome suggested accompaniments for this dish: classic mashed potatoes, buttered haricot vert or my favourite pan roasted Jerusalem artichokes, a glass of red wine and a loaf of crusty bread.Pheasant souvarov is an all time classic dish. I have seen many recipes that call for 6 whole fresh pheasants, 12 black truffles, 1 foie gras and bottles of red wine. It is the type of recipe that hints of the extravagance of which great French classic cuisine was founded, the days of which we can only read about but I certainly wish I could have experienced. I have cooked this dish many times at Christmas while working in London, England. We would have friends over to our apartment after finishing work around midnight on Christmas night and this would be our Christmas dinner – a kind of Christmas present to the gang. Bon appétit!



Pheasant Souvarov

2 3 ½
lb(s) pheasants (legs and breasts removed)
salt and pepper, to taste
splash of grape seed oil
cup of pearl onions, peeled (250 ml)
medium carrot
ribs of celery
clove garlic
sprig fresh thyme
bay leaf
black peppercorns, crushed
juniper berries, crushed
zest of ½ orange
1 ½
Tbsp of tomato puree (22 ml)
cup of gin (60 ml)
1 ½
cup of good red wine (375 ml)
cup of port (125 ml)
chicken stock
cup of button mushrooms (250 ml)
small black truffle (or ¼ tsp. truffle paste or truffle oil (1 ml))
oz foie gras, diced

Sealing Dough

2 ½
cup of all purpose flour (625 ml)
Pinch of salt
Water, enough to form a stiff dough


Step 1

Add a splash of grapeseed oil to the casserole to an oven-proof casserole (such as a Dutch oven or earthenware pot) over medium high heat. Season the pheasant that has been removed from the bone with salt and pepper. Sear in the casserole until lightly golden brown all over. Remove from casserole and place to one side.

Step 2

At this point, you can cut the thigh from the drumstick.

Step 3

Chop the carcass of the pheasant into 2 to 3 pieces and brown lightly in casserole. Add the pearl onions, carrots and celery and continue to fry to lightly golden brown. Add the 2 cloves of garlic, thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn, juniper berries and orange zest. Continue to sauté and sizzle gently. Add the tomato puree and continue to sauté for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the gin and carefully flame with a match. Add the red wine, port and reduce by one-third. Add enough chicken stock to cover the bones. Bring to a simmer. Skim as needed.

Step 4

Season the drumstick of the pheasant with salt and pepper, Add to the casserole and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes.

Step 5

After 20 minutes, the liquid in the pot should have slightly thickened and taken on a sauce-like consistency. Remove the carcass of pheasant, skim and adjust the seasoning. Remove from heat, add the thigh and breast of pheasant, followed by the mushrooms, truffle and foie gras.

Step 6

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Step 7

Roll the sealing dough into a sausage-like shape, about 1 ½-inch in diameter and long enough to wrap around the lip of the casserole where the lid sits. This dough will act as a seal as the souvarov cooks. It is important to make sure that you have a very good and airtight seal. If you wish you can brush the exposed edge of the dough with a little water and sprinkle with sea salt, for looks only. Transfer the entire casserole to the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Step 8

The best presentation of this dish is to carry the casserole to the serving table having hot plates and serving utensils at the ready. Cut open the crust. Gently lift the lid to reveal a delicious, extravagant and suspenseful dish of pheasant souvarov. Serve on hot plates along with the assortment of vegetables and a ladle of sauce.

Step 9

Mix all ingredients well together to form a stiff but workable dough and allow to relax 30 to 40 minutes.

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