Pot-roast pheasant with pearl barley & stuffed onions

Pot-roast pheasant with pearl barley & stuffed onions

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 2 hrs

More effort

Serves 2
If you're cooking to impress, up your game with Tom's perfect poultry dish for a sensational, seasonal supper for two

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal1199
  • fat59g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs67g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre13g
  • protein75g
  • salt1.6g
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Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 large pheasant crown (legs removed and kept for the stuffing – see below)
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and diced
    Parsnip

    Parsnip

    par-snip

    The fact that the parsnip is a member of the carrot family comes as no surprise - it looks just…

  • 50g pearl barley
  • 200ml dry cider
    Cider

    Cider

    si-der

    Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Apple orchards were…

  • 400ml fresh chicken stock
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 100g small wild mushrooms or chestnut mushrooms, quartered if large
    Mushroom

    Mushroom

    mush-room

    The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct…

  • 1 Braeburn apple, peeled and chopped into small cubes
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
    Parsley

    Parsley

    par-slee

    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

For the stuffed onions

  • 2 small onions (just bigger than a golf ball), peeled but left whole
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 pheasants legs, bones removed and minced with the skin (ask your butcher to do this – see tip)
  • 50g pork sausagemeat
  • 2 juniper berries, toasted and crushed
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

For the salsa

  • 50g sprout tops or cavolo nero, stalks removed
    Cavolo nero

    Cavolo nero

    ca-voll-oh nee-ro

    A loose-leafed cabbage from Tuscany, Italy. The leaves are a very dark green, almost black,…

  • small pinch of ground mace
  • 1 tbsp grated chestnuts
    Chestnut

    Chestnut

    chest-nut

    'Chestnuts roasting on an open fire...' that kitsch old Nat King Cole song perfectly…

  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • zest ½ lemon
    Lemon

    Lemon

    le-mon

    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…

  • 6 sage leaves, fried until crisp, to serve

Method

  1. First, start to make the stuffed onions. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Lay the whole onions on a large sheet of foil and wrap up to make a parcel. Cook for 1 hr 30 mins or until soft, then remove and leave to cool. Turn up the oven to 180C/160 fan/gas 4.

  2. While the onions are roasting, heat a medium flameproof casserole dish and add 1 tbsp oil. When the dish is hot, add the pheasant crown and brown on the skin side, then set aside. Add the remaining oil and the onion and fry for 10 mins until soft and starting to brown. Add the garlic and parsnip, cook for a few mins, then add the pearl barley and cider. Simmer until the cider has reduced by half, then pour in the chicken stock and keep on a low simmer for 15-20 mins.

  3. Remove and discard the core from the baked onions using a teaspoon, making them hollow but still keeping them intact. In a mixing bowl, mix all the stuffing ingredients and season. Spoon the stuffing into the hollow onions, making sure that they are full. Roll any extra stuffing into small balls.

  4. Add the pheasant crown and any balls to the simmering barley and sprinkle with a little salt, then add the stuffed onions and thyme. Cover with a lid and put in the oven for 20 mins.

  5. To make the salsa, bring a pan of salted water to the boil and blanch the sprout tops until they are just soft, then plunge them into a bowl of iced water. Drain the leaves and squeeze out any excess water, then chop roughly. Add them to the small bowl of a food processor, along with the mace, chestnuts, garlic, rapeseed oil and lemon zest, and blitz until it becomes a rough salsa texture. Add a little seasoning to taste.

  6. Once the pheasant is cooked, remove the dish from the oven and transfer the pheasant to a plate to rest. Cover loosely with foil. Return the barley to the heat and stir in the mushrooms, apple and parsley – using the mixture to baste the stuffed onions. When it becomes a rich and reasonably thick stew, remove from the heat.

  7. Remove the breasts from the crown with a sharp knife and trim a little to neaten them. Spoon the pearl barley onto a large serving bowl or plate, put the pheasant breast on top and serve with the braised onions and extra meatballs. To finish the dish, add a large spoonful of the salsa and sprinkle over the crispy sage leaves.

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Comments, questions and tips

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smpdit
10th Jan, 2016
2.55
Tried this, tasted OK, but found the mix of onion and parsnip added too much sweetness to the sauce. Admittedly didn't do the salsa, which may have produced a more balanced edge.
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