Guinea fowl with wild mushroom ragout

It's sometimes hard to avoid drying out guinea fowl when roasting it, but Rosemary Shragers recipe guarantees moist and delicious meat
By Rosemary Shrager
Guinea fowl with wild mushroom ragout
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 4 hrs chilling time
  • Effort: medium


For the potato and cabbage cakes

  • 225 g maris piper potatoes, peeled
  • 150 g savoy cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 egg yolk
  • butter

For the wild mushroom ragout

  • 50 g butter
  • 1 large shallot, or medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 50 g shiitake mushrooms, halved
  • 150 g mixed wild mushrooms, halved
  • 2 tbsp madeira
  • 2 tbsp chicken stock
  • 200 ml veal stock, (substitute with reduced beef or lamb stock if unavailable)
  • 75 ml double cream
  • 2 tsp finely chopped parsley and tarragon

For the guinea fowl

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 4 tbsp chopped dry-cured streaky bacon
  • 4 free-range guinea fowl breasts, skin removed
  • 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tbsp madeira

For the celeriac purée

  • 500 g celeriac, diced
  • 500 ml full-fat milk
  • 100 g butter

To garnish

  • 4 sprigs chervil


1. For the potato and cabbage cakes: boil the potatoes in a saucepan of salted water until soft (about 15-20 minutes), then drain and mash. Blanch the cabbage in a pan of boiling sated water for 2 minutes and then drain thoroughly.

2. Mix the potato and cabbage in a bowl with the carrot, parsley and egg yolk. Season well.

3. Butter 4 metal chefs rings really well. Butter a baking tray then put the rings on the tray and divide the mixture between them. Leave in the fridge for up to 4 hours to set before baking, ideally overnight.

4. When you are ready to cook the cakes, preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Remove the rings from the fridge and heat some butter in a large frying pan. Add the rings and allow the potato to brown on the outside.

5. Once browned, place the rings back on the baking tray and then in the preheated oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the cakes are hot all the way through check it by inserting a skewer into the middle of one of the rounds and if the skewer is hot, the cake is ready. Leave the oven on.

6. For the mushroom ragout: melt the butter in a large frying pan and fry the shallot until softened. Stir in the garlic and shiitake mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wild mushrooms and cook for a further 5 minutes.

7. Pour in the Madeira and cook until the liquid has thickened slightly. Add the chicken stock, veal jus (or reduced stock), herbs and cream and simmer until thickened nicely. Season with salt and pepper, then strain the sauce into a clean pan. Retain the mushrooms and set aside.

8. For the guinea fowl: heat a dash of olive in a frying pan and fry the bacon until browned. Set aside.

9. In the same pan, brown the guinea fowl breasts on both sides, adding a splash more oil if necessary.

10. In a small bowl, mix the chopped herbs with a little salt and pepper. Take a large sheet of foil and put it in a roasting tin, lay the breasts on top, sprinkle with the Madeira, a dash more olive oil, and the bacon and herbs. Wrap the foil tightly around the meat.

11. Place the wrapped guinea fowl on a baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, checking after 15 (you will know the meat is cooked through when the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast). Leave covered to rest in a warm place.

12. For the celeriac purée: in a saucepan on top of a medium heat on the stove, simmer the celeriac until tender. Drain and tip into a bowl. Blend using a hand-blender with the butter, salt and pepper until smooth.

13. Slice the guinea fowl and serve with the mushroom ragout, potato cakes celeriac purée and a drizzle of sauce. Garnish with a sprig of chervil each.

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