Slow-cooked pheasant, Pink Fir fondant potatoes and celeriac cream

03 November 2010
Slow-cooked pheasant, Pink Fir fondant potatoes and celeriac cream

Madelene Bonvini-Hamel's recipe for slow-cooked pheasant, Pink Fir fondant potatoes and celeriac cream makes the most of ingredients that are at their best in November

For the slow-cooked pheasant

(Serves four)
2 whole pheasants
Sprigs of thyme
1 clove of garlic
Salt and freshly cracked pepper
Rapeseed oil

METHOD To prepare the slow-cooked pheasant, preheat the water bath to 62°C. Prepare the pheasants by plucking the birds and remove as many of the feathers as possible. Remove the legs from the crowns. Use the legs for the recipe below.

Remove the breast meat from the crowns. Season the breast with salt and pepper, and place the seasoned breast in a vacuum pouch and add the rapeseed oil, thyme and garlic. Seal the bags on full vacuum.

Cook the pheasant breast in the preheated water bath till 58°C, core temperature, it takes about 28 minutes.

Chill the pheasant breast in iced water and refrigerate until needed.

To serve the pheasant: Brown the pheasant breast on the skin side in the hot pan with butter, until golden brown.

Transfer the pheasant breast to an oven tray and roast the breast for about 6-8 minutes, let the breast rest for 8 minutes once roasted.

For the pheasant and prune sausages

INGREDIENTS • Pheasant legs from the birds above
• 200g sausage meat
• 3tbs chopped mixed herbs such as sage, parsley, rosemary, chives and chervil
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 150g chopped prunes, soaked in 2tbs Armagnac
• 4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
• Freshly grated nutmeg
• A squeeze of lemon juice


To make the pheasant and prune sausages, preheat the water bath to 83°C. Place the prepared legs in a vacuum pouch with two tables spoons of rapeseed oil, garlic and thyme, lightly season the legs. Seal the bag and cook the pheasant legs for 12 hours.

Once cooked, flake the meat and mix 200g of flaked pheasant meat with the sausage meat, season to taste add nutmeg and stir in the chopped herbs and prunes. Shape into 30g sausage shaped balls and wrap each sausage in a rasher of the smoked streaky bacon.

Cook them in a pre-heated oven at 200°C for 12 - 15 minutes, until golden and cooked all the way through.

For the herbed pearl barley

INGREDIENTS • 300g cooked pearl barley
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 1tbs rapeseed oil
• 1tbs shallot confit
• 1tbs mixed chopped chives, chervil and rosemary

METHOD To prepare the herbed pearl barley, cook the pearl barley in salted boiling water with a few aromatics such as carrots, celery, thyme, garlic and leeks, once cooked drain and refresh.

To reheat warm the pearl barley through in a pan with the shallot confit and rapeseed oil, season to taste and stir the herbs through just before serving.

For the Pink Fir fondant

INGREDIENTS • 16 pink fir potatoes
• 1 block of unsalted butter
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• Water

METHOD Meanwhile, scrub the Pink Fir potatoes and dry. Heat a non-stick frying pan with a bit of the butter, brown the potatoes all over, and season lightly. Once the potatoes are golden add the remainder of the butter with a dash of water, place a cartouche on top and transfer the potatoes to a preheated oven at 180°C. Cook them for about 15 - 20 minutes (the time depends on the size of the potatoes) until tender.

For the celeriac cream

INGREDIENTS • 300g celeriac
• 20g unsalted butter
• Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
• 50ml double cream

METHOD To prepare the celeriac cream, peel and finely slice the celeriac, place it in a vacuum bag, add the butter and seasoning. Seal on hard vacuum.

Bring the water to boil in a large saucepan and place the vacuum bag in the water, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and leave to simmer for 40 minutes.

Puree the celeriac in a blender until very smooth, add the cream, and if it's still too thick then add more cream.

Taste and adjust the seasoning if need.

TO SERVE Spoon the celeriac cream onto warm plates; place the drained fondant potatoes in position along with the cooked pheasant sausage. Spoon the warm pearl barley onto the plate and place the sliced pheasant breast on top. Serve with blanched purple sprouting broccoli and a drizzle of pheasant Madeira sauce. Serve immediately.

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