Roast pheasant breast with butternut puree

A game dinner with lots of hearty Scottish trimmings from Nell Nelson
By Nell Nelson
Roast pheasant breast with butternut puree
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • small handfuls dried wild mushrooms or porcini
  • 25 g butter
  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled, cut into wedges with woody core removed
  • 2 breasts pheasant
  • sprigs thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tbsp pinhead oatmeal
  • 2 leeks, washed and thinly sliced


1. Cover the mushrooms in boiling water and leave to infuse while you get on with the recipe.

2. Melt half the butter into a heavy-based pan over a low heat and gently fry the squash, stirring occasionally, until tender. If it starts sticking, add a little bit of water or vegetable stock. Puree in a blender until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, return to the pan and keep warm.

3. Preheat the oven to 230C/gas 8.

4. Mix the curry powder and oil and use to coat the parsnip wedges. Season with salt and pepper and roast in the hot oven for 10-15 minutes, until tender.

5. Meanwhile, rub the pheasant breasts with salt, pepper and thyme leaves. Heat an ovenproof frying pan and brown the pheasant breasts skin-side down for 2-3 minutes, turn and cook for a minute more. Transfer to the hot oven for 2-3 minutes, until cooked through.

6. Remove the pheasant from the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes. Return the pan to the heat and deglaze with the mushrooms and their soaking liquid. Bubble until the juices have reduced to rich sauce.

6. Toast the pinhead oatmeal in a dry frying pan until lightly coloured. Set aside. Gently fry the leeks in the remaining butter. Add the toasted oatmeal when they have softened.

7. Serve the pheasant with the butternut squash purree, parsnip wedges, leeks and the mushroom juices drizzled over the top.

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