The inventive sherry vinegar pearls add an impressive touch to this classical pheasant dish from Andy McLeish. This poached and roasted pheasant recipe is a great option for autumn and winter, when pheasant is widely available and parsnips are at their best.
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To make the pearls, boil the vinegar, agar agar and sugar together until dissolved and pass through a chinoise
100ml of sherry vinegar
5g of agar agar
10g of sugar
Pour into a plastic squeezy bottle with a ﬁne nozzle. Gently pour into the chilled vegetable oil and let the pearls set. Strain off the oil and wash under cold running water, storing in the fridge until ready for use. The vegetable oil can be used again as normal
1.13l vegetable oil, chilled
For the parsnip purée, peel the parsnips and cook them in gently boiling chicken stock until tender, around 15-20 minutes
2.27l chicken stock
Remove them from the stock and blend 3 of the parsnips in a food processor. Add half of the cream and a little of the stock (reserving the rest for poaching) and blend until silky smooth. Season with salt, pepper and lemon and pass through a sieve. Place in a small pot, cover and set aside
50ml of cream
Take the 4 outer leaves from the cabbage and blanch them in boiling salted water until tender. Then finely slice the rest of the cabbage to its core. Blanch the sliced cabbage until tender, around 4-5 mintues, strain and remove all the water by gently squeezing the cabbage
1 savoy cabbage
Cook the shallot in a pan on a medium heat with a little butter and add the remaining cream with the thyme and garlic. Reduce slightly and add the sliced cabbage stirring to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and cool in the fridge
1 shallot, finely sliced
1 pinch of fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, chopped
50ml of cream
Once cool, shape the sliced cabbage into 4 equal balls and wrap each one in the cabbage leaves, then wrap tightly in cling film to hold the shape
Bring the chicken stock to the boil in a pan. Once boiling, remove the pan from the heat and place the pheasant crowns into the stock, cover and leave for 10 minutes
2.27l chicken stock
2 hen pheasant crowns
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Remove the pheasant from the pan and pat-dry. Heat a sauté pan and add a little oil. Season the pheasant with salt and pepper and place the crowns down in the sauté pan, colour the skin side until golden brown
Repeat to cook the crown on the other side and place in the oven for a further 6-8 minutes
Warm the cabbage balls in some boiling water for 4 minutes, then remove and cut off the clingfilm. Cut and then pan-fry the remaining parsnips in a little butter until golden brown. Remove the pheasant from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes
1 knob of butter
Re-heat the parsnip puree, cut the pheasant from the crown and place onto the plate, adding the roast parsnip, hot cabbage balls, parsnip puree and sherry vinegar pearls. Add some of the juices from the pan that the pheasant was cooked in just before serving
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