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Great British Game Week

Great British Game Week

The mouth-watering tastes of game meat will be celebrated again this year in Great British Game Week, which runs from 22-29 November
"Place the 4 pheasant legs in a small baking dish with the garlic and thyme. Pour over the duck fat, cover and cook for 2-3 hours until tender"

Great British Game Week celebrates all that is great about British game and is aimed at introducing new people to these healthy and natural meats. After the success of last year’s event, the Countryside Alliance aim to make the second Great British Game Week even bigger and more successful, with more restaurants and pubs cooking up new and exciting dishes and more events to introduce game to new audiences.

Jack Knott of Game to Eat, told us more: “It’s a great opportunity for everyone who shoots, who sells game or just enjoys eating it, to get involved and celebrate this fantastic British, seasonal produce. Butchers and game dealers around the country are only too happy to advise those new to game how to get the best out of these wonderful meats and the Game to Eat and Taste of Game websites are bursting with recipes for you to try.”

To celebrate Game Week, Mark Chandler from the White Hart at Fyfield has provided us with this mouth-watering pheasant recipe. As winners of Oxfordshire Restaurant of the Year 2015, the White Hart are certainly the right people to ask.

Pheasant, Parsnips three ways, Boxty, Sprout tops with chestnuts

Ingredients (serves 4)

2 large pheasants, each jointed in to 2 breast and 2 legs (reserve the carcasses)

Duck fat (approx. 400g)

2 sprigs of thyme

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1 litre good chicken stock

Mirepoix (1 onion, 2 carrots, 1 celery, ½ leek, all roughly chopped)

7 parsnips, peeled

250ml milk

250ml cream

50g butter

Pinch cumin

6 banana shallots, thinly sliced

100g cooked vac-packed chestnuts

2 sprout tops

1 egg

Panko breadcrumbs (handful)

Mashed potato (2 medium potatoes)

Vegetable oil, drizzle

Olive oil, drizzle


Game Jus Preheat oven to 200C. Roast the carcasses and mirepoix in the oven until browned. Place in a saucepan, cover with chicken stock and bring to the boil. Simmer for 2 hours. Pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan, boil and reduce to a sauce, skimming frequently. Reserve.

Pheasant Leg Confit

Preheat oven to 150C. Melt the duck fat. Place the 4 pheasant legs in a small baking dish with the garlic and thyme. Pour over the duck fat, cover and cook for 2-3 hours until tender. Remove the legs from the fat and once cool enough to handle, pick the meat off and reserve.

Boxty Cake

Sweat the shallots in a little olive oil until soft but not coloured. Take half the pheasant leg meat and half the shallots and place in a bowl. Add the same ratio of mash to the shallot and leg meat mix. Loosen with a tablespoon of melted duck fat and season. Form in to 4 cylinder shapes and refrigerate for an hour. Once firm, coat in flour, egg and breadcrumbs. Refrigerate until needed.

Pheasant Ragout

Mix the remaining leg meat, shallots and half the chopped chestnuts. Moisten with a little game jus and reserve until required.

Parsnips Three Ways

• Roast parsnips – take 3 and quarter lengthways. Remove the core and trim to about 10cm in length. Sauté in 25g butter until starting to turn a golden brown. Season and sprinkle with ground cumin. Remove from the pan.

• Parsnip puree – chop 3 parsnips into smallish pieces. Place in a saucepan. Just cover with the milk and cream and season. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently until the parsnips are soft. Liquidise to a puree and keep warm.

• Parsnip crisps – take 1 parsnip and using a peeler, trim into long thin strips. Deep fry until just starting to go crispy. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Sprout Tops with Chestnuts

Cut into 1cm wide strips. Blanch for 1 minute in boiling salted water then refresh.

To finish

Preheat oven to 180C. Season the pheasant breasts on both sides. Warm a large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil and a knob of butter. When the butter is foaming, place the breasts, skin-side down and cook until golden brown. Turn the breasts over and cook in the oven for about 5 minutes until slightly firm. Do not overcook! Remove and rest in a warm place. Finish the parsnip quarters by placing in the oven for 5 minutes, cooking until soft. Deep-fry the boxty cakes in hot oil (170C) until golden. Warm though the ragout. Sauté the sprout tops in a little butter with the remaining chestnuts for 30 seconds.

To serve

Swipe a spoonful of parsnip puree on the edge of the plate. Place a spoonful of ragout in the middle, along with the sprout tops and chestnuts. Lean the parsnips on the sprout tops. Carve the pheasant breast horizontally and place on the ragout. Add the boxty. Drizzle over the remaining game jus and top with the parsnip crisps.

For more information and recipes to help you get involved, visit tasteofgame.org.uk or gametoeat.co.uk


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