Roast pheasant with balsamic sprouts and parsnip purée

Ed Baines rustles up fabulous pheasant: bacon-wrapped breasts and confit-style legs, aside balsamic-splashed sprouts and smooth parsnip purée
By Ed Baines
Roast pheasant with balsamic sprouts and parsnip purée
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes plus 1 hr for pheasant confit
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 1 pheasant
  • 500 ml vegetable oil
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 4 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

For the stock:

  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stick celery, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 handfuls parsley, leaves chopped, stalks reserved

For the parsnip purée:

  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 floury potatoes, Maris piper or King Edward are good)
  • 50 g butter

For the balsamic brussels sprouts:

  • 350 g brussels sprouts
  • 6 rashers smoked bacon, cut into lardons
  • 30 ml balsamic vinegar
  • 25 g butter

For the cassis jus:

  • 125 ml red wine
  • 50 ml cassis

Tips and Suggestions

With all game birds, care is needed to avoid overcooking, which can make the flesh dry.
The hen pheasant is small and will serve two people perfectly, while the cock bird is larger and may even serve three.

Method

1. For the pheasant: remove the legs and breasts from the pheasant. Season the legs with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place in a casserole, cover with vegetable oil and cook on a low heat for 1 hour.

2. Place a sprig of rosemary on top of each pheasant breast and wrap with the bacon. Set aside.

3. For the stock: put the pheasant carcass in a large saucepan with the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and parsley stalks. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes.

4. Strain and return the liquid to the heat. Simmer until reduced by half. Reserve this stock to use in the sauce.

5. For the parsnip purée: cook the parsnips and potatoes in plenty of boiling salted water until soft. Mash with the butter, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and add the chopped parsley.

6. For the brussels sprouts: bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and blanch the brussels sprouts for 1-2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

7. Fry the bacon lardons in a large frying pan over a moderate heat until crisp. Add the blanched sprouts, balsamic vinegar and butter. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. Heat the olive oil in a separate frying pan and fry the pheasant breasts for 7-8 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to rest in a warm place.

9. For the cassis jus: deglaze the pan in which you cooked the pheasant breasts with the red wine and cassis. Add the reserved pheasant stock and bubble until reduced by two-thirds.

10. Serve the breast, together with the leg confit, vegetables and cassis jus.

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