Pheasant ballotine with sage bread sauce



Begin the day before as the pheasant must marinate overnight. You may also want to make a stock from the pheasant bones a day in advance too


Remove the legs and thighs from the pheasant and very finely dice the meat to make the ballotine filling


Next, make a herb paste. Use a pestle and mortar or small blender to grind the garlic, parsley, sage and thyme together, adding a drizzle of oil and the chutney at the end. Season with a pinch of salt


Divide the herb paste in half and blitz one half with the butter to create a herb butter. Place the butter in between two sheets of greaseproof paper and roll into a thin sheet, then refrigerate

  • 250g of butter, at room temperature


Divide the remaining herb paste in half again and rub half over the pheasant and stir half through the diced meat. Place both in the fridge to marinate overnight


Begin making the bread sauce the day before, too. Peel the onion and stud it with cloves, then place in a pan with the milk, double cream, nutmeg and sage stalks. Gently bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse overnight


The next day, cut the rolled out sheet of butter into 3, with two larger pieces and one small. Carefully slide one of the larger sheets underneath the skin of the breasts


Place the pheasant skin-side down and season the meat well with salt and pepper, then lay the other larger sheet of butter on top of the meat. Top with the marinated leg meat filling then roll up into a tight log, pulling the skin over to seal. Tie up with butchers string then clingfilm tightly and leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours


While the pheasant chills, finish the bread sauce. Remove the onion and sage stalks, then bring the sauce back to the boil. Add the sourdough and sage leaves, cook for a few minutes until well combined, then transfer to a blender and blitz until smooth. Whisk in the butter, season to taste then either keep warm or reheat before serving


Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7


Remove the clingfilm and season the ballotine with salt and pepper. Lay the final, smaller sheet of butter over the ballotine and place a sheet of baking paper on top. Roast in the oven until the core temperature reaches 60°C (about 8-10 minutes)


Remove the baking paper and baste with the melted butter, then return to the oven until the core temperature reaches 64°C (the time this takes will depend on the pheasant, so it’s best to use a thermometer)


Leave to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes before carving. Serve slices of the ballotine on a bed of the bread sauce, with a gravy make from the bones and some simple wilted greens on the side

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply