Roast pheasant breast with parsnip purée and pickled brambles Pheasant has a stronger flavour than other feathered game so it’s important to pair it with the right ingredients that complement this. Award-winning James Mackenize does just this in a fantastic recipe that embodies the best of seasonal ingredients. This dish also pairs well with an accompanying mature pinot noir. Serves 4 Ingredients For the pheasant breasts: 4 pheasant breasts 50ml of vegetable oil For the marinade: 100ml of rapeseed oil 1 tbsp of juniper berries, crushed 1 tbsp of thyme, chopped salt pepper For the pickled blackberries: 200g of blackberries 200ml of red wine vinegar 150g of caster sugar 35ml of water 3 star anise 1/2 tsp pink peppercorns 1 cinnamon stick 1 bay leaf For the parsnip purée: 8 parsnips, sliced 200ml of cream 100ml of water salt For the parkin: 100g of parkin, or dark ginger cake For the brussels sprouts: 2 Brussels sprouts 1 knob of butter Method 1 Begin by marinating the pheasant breasts. Mix together the marinade ingredients in a bowl and submerge the breasts in the mixture to coat. Alternatively, add the breasts and marinade ingredients to a ziplock bag, squeeze out the air and seal. Leave overnight in the fridge. 2 To pickle the blackberries, add all of the ingredients (except the blackberries) to a pan and heat until the sugar dissolves. Allow to cool, then add the blackberries and leave to pickle for at least 1 hour. Once pickled, remove the blackberries and set aside at room temperature. Decant the liquid into a squeezy bottle. 3 For the parsnip purée, add the sliced parsnips, cream and water to a pan, cover with a lid and cook until the parsnips are soft. Strain, reserving the cream, and add the parsnips to a blender. 4 Add a splash of the cooking liquor to the parsnips and blitz until smooth and silky. Season to taste and set aside. 5 Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. 6 To prepare the parkin, crumble the cake into small pieces and spread out onto a baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 3-4 minutes to dry out slightly. 7 To cook the pheasant, remove the breasts from the marinade. Add the oil to a hot pan and shallow fry the breasts, skin-side down, until golden brown. Once golden, turn over the breasts and place in the oven for 5-6 minutes. Remove and rest for at least 5 minutes after cooking. 8 Thinly slice the sprouts and heat a knob of butter in a small pan until it begins to foam. Add the shredded sprouts and toss to coat. Sauté for 1 minute, then remove from the heat. 9 To serve, arrange the sprouts in a line across the middle of each plate. Place the pheasant breasts on top of the sprouts and spoon a quenelle of parsnip purée onto each plate. Decorate with the parkin crumb and add a squeeze of the pickling liquid and a line of blackberries before serving. James Mackenzie’s recipe courtesy of Great British Chefs. Click here for more details.