Pheasant breast gnocchi

The Recipes / Game

The Cottage in the Wood, Worcestershire

2 pheasant crowns
2tbs rapeseed oil
60g unsalted butter
1 sprig thyme
2 cloves garlic

Gnocci
300g floury potatoes e.g. désirée
1 egg yolk
60g 00 pasta flour, plus extra for dusting
Fresh truffle or truffle oil (optional) 250g girolles (optional)

Mushroom purée
500g button mushrooms
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
Knob of butter

4 spears asparagus

Pheasant leg
4 pheasant legs
2 carrots
1 onion
2 stalks celery
6 cloves garlic
2 sprigs thyme
2tbs chopped parsley
½tsp tomato purée
200ml red wine
300ml chicken stock

Pommes Anna crisps
2 chipping potatoes e.g. maris piper
125g unsalted butter

www.cottageinthewood.co.uk

And slow braised pheasant leg broth

Serves 4

Heat an oven proof pan until very hot. Add the rapeseed oil and pheasant crowns. Fry for two minutes on each side until golden, then add the butter, garlic and thyme and continue to cook over a high heat until the butter starts to foam. Baste the crowns with the foaming butter, then transfer the pan to the oven at 180°C for five minutes on one side of the crown and a further five minutes on the other. Baste with foaming butter when turning the crown to stop it from drying out. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for ten minutes, then carve the breast off the bone.

Bake the potatoes for the gnocchi for 30-40 minutes until completely cooked through, then while still hot cut in half, scoop out the flesh, and push through a drum sieve or ricer into a large bowl. Fold in the yolk, flour, a pinch of salt and the chopped truffle or truffle oil (if using) until the mixture forms a dough. Roll a quarter of the dough into a 2cm thick sausage shape, then cut into 3cm discs: repeat with the rest of the dough, rolling each piece on a gnocchi board or with the back of a fork on a lightly floured tray. Cook in salted water for 2-3 minutes until the gnocchi float to the surface, then drain off and lightly colour with butter in a pan with the girolles.

For the purée, sauté the mushrooms, shallot and garlic in the butter over a low heat until soft. Transfer to a jug blender and blend till smooth. Pass through a sieve and season.

Sear off the seasoned legs with a splash of rapeseed oil in an oven proof pan till lightly coloured on both sides. Remove the legs from the pan and set aside: add the vegetables, herbs and tomato purée and cook for 20 minutes. Return the legs to the pan, add the wine, and reduce. Add the stock to create a broth, cover, and cook in the oven for
20 minutes at 180˚C.

Melt the butter for the crisps. Peel and thinly slice the potato on a mandolin. Line a tray with greaseproof paper, dip the potato into the butter and arrange a quarter of the potato slices overlapping each other to create a ring. Repeat and season with salt and pepper. Place another sheet of greaseproof paper with a tray on top to keep the rings flat, and bake at 180°C for 8-12 minutes until crisp and golden.

Swipe a good tablespoon of the mushroom purée across the plate. Place a pheasant breast on top of the purée with gnocchi and girolles alongside. Pour a spoonful of the broth over everything and add a spear of asparagus. Serve the leg in a separate bowl with the remaining broth, with a Pommes Anna ring on top of the bowl with the leg poking through the middle.