Preheat the oven to 180ºc. Season the pheasants inside and out with a good sprinkling of salt and pepper. Remove the hard core from the cabbage and thinly shred the leaves. Peel and core the apples. slice one apple thinly into rings and add to the cabbage. Put half the other apple inside each pheasant, along with a sprig of the thyme.
On the hob, heat a knob of nutter and a glug of oil in a heavy metal casserole dish large enough to hold both pheasants, with a couple of inches to spare above them. Brown the birds well on all sides, one at a time. Remove pheasants from the casserole dish and put to one side.
Keep back 2 rashes of the bacon, then chop the rest into strips and add to the fat. Cook for a few minutes until the bacon starts to brown, add the onions, garlic, juniper, orange peel and bay leaf, then sweat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft. Add the cabbage and apple, then cook for 20 minutes, stirring every few minutes to stop it burning. Mix in the wine and redcurrant jelly, season and bring to a simmer. Place the pheasants, breast side down on top of the cabbage and cook in the oven for 40 minutes.
Now remove the lid and stir the vinegar into the cabbage. Turn the pheasants breast side up. Cut the remaining bacon into 3 or 4 pieces, spread them a little by bashing with your fist, then drape over the pheasant breasts. Return the dish to the oven, without the lid, for 20 minutes. The pheasants are done when the legs pull away easily from the carcass.