Recipe: Huffed pheasant with gooseberries

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  • 1 small leek, thinly sliced
  • 125g (4½ oz) gooseberries
  • 25g (1oz) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped thyme
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 4 pheasant breasts, about 125g (4½ oz) each
  • 4 slices of lean back bacon
  • 250g (9oz) self-raising flour
  • 125g (4½ oz) light vegetable suet
  • 1 egg, beaten, plus extra for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice


  • Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Put the leek, gooseberries, breadcrumbs, thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl and mix.
  • Remove the skin from each pheasant breast and cut a deep pocket in the side. Spoon the stuffing mixture in, packing it firmly. Wrap a slice of bacon around each.
  • Sift the flour into a bowl and stir in the suet and some salt and pepper. Make a well in the centre and add the egg, lemon juice and enough cold water to mix to a soft, but not sticky, dough.
  • Divide into four and roll out each to about a 15cm (6 in) round, depending on the size of the pheasant breasts. Place a pheasant breast on each, brush the edges with egg and fold over to enclose. Pinch the edges to seal, place on a baking sheet and brush with egg to glaze.
  • Bake for 20 minutes, until the pastry is firm and golden brown, then reduce to 180°C (350°F, gas mark 4) and cook for a further 10-15 minutes.
  • Serve warm or cold, with a crisp salad and pickles.


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