Stosie Madi’s Lancashire gastropub, the Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, is one of the north’s top dining hot spots. This seasonal game dish uses tender, locally shot pheasant. Alternatively guinea fowl or turkey can be used as a substitute.
Ingredients (serves 24) 12 whole large pheasants in feather or ordered ready butchered as per recipe
Breast ballotines ■ 24 Skinned, boned pheasant supremes
■ 24 Finely sliced strips of streaky dry-cured bacon
■ 150g Thyme
■ 250g Flat leaf parsley
■ 1kg Unsalted butter
■ 150g Blanched whole garlic
■ 12 Juniper berries
■ 4 Fresh bay leaves
■ 300ml Oil
Leg farce ■ 1kg Minced pheasant leg meat
■ 500g Minced pork
■ 250g Minced pork fat
■ 12 Minced pheasant hearts
■ 100g Thyme, salt and pepper combined (use 10g per kg of meat)
■ 250g Fresh crushed blackberries
■ 150ml Bramble vinegar
Pastry ■ 900g Pork fat and rendered down pheasant fat
■ 2 Large egg yolks
■ 1kg Flour
■ Water to bind
Bramble sauce ■ Pheasant bones for stock
■ A good, full-bodied red wine
Garnish ■ Roasted seasonal roots
■ Roasted celeriac purée or potato purée
■ Butter braised Savoy cabbage
For the ballotines ■ Purée 100g thyme, 200g flat leaf parsley, 1kg unsalted butter, 150g blanched whole garlic, 12 juniper berries, 4 fresh bay leaves. Shape into 24 logs to fit into breasts and refrigerate overnight.
■ Blitz together 50g parsley, 50g thyme, 300ml oil.
■ Butterfly the breasts and flatten gently, rub in herb oil and allow to marinate overnight.
■ Season the breasts with salt and white pepper, stuff with the butter mixture and then log roll tight.
■ Stretch out the streaky bacon on a board, roll the breasts in tightly and refrigerate ready for service.
For the leg pasty ■ Mix the farce ingredients together, check seasoning and adjust if necessary before allowing to sit for 24 hours.
■ Assemble the pastry, chill overnight and roll out as thinly as possible.
■ Weigh out 50g per pasty, stuff mixture into rolled out pastry and refrigerate.
For the bramble sauce ■ Prepare stock with bones, red wine and lots of blackberries.
■ Strain and then reduce.
To serve ■ Sear breast in clarified thyme butter until golden all round and roast at 200°C for 6 to 8 minutes depending on size.
■ Remove and rest for 6 to 8 minutes.
■ Meanwhile, cook pasty to order at 200°C for 8 to 10 minutes until golden brown, ensuring a maximum core temperature of 64°C.
■ Garnish plate with celeriac cream, Savoy cabbage and roasted root vegetables.
■ Carve the ballotine, and serve with pasty and sauce.
And to drink?
Beer sommelier Jane Peyton, founder of School of Booze, recommends pairing this dish with Northern Latitude from Fourpure brewery.
She says: “Northern Latitude is a rich, red, rye ale with tangerine and orange flavours and a spicy, bitter finish.
“Pheasant can sometimes be a tad dry in texture, so this juicy beer compensates for that. It will complement all the flavours in this complex dish. I love this beer with a passion.”