Roast Pheasant

Aspiring Student Chef 2020-21 Finalist - Matthew Hesman

About the Recipe

It is both formal and rustic and very tasty. The perfect Sunday lunch.


  • 2 x Pheasant breast

  • 6 slices of unsmoked bacon

  • 1 large parsnip

  • 2 large potatoes 


  • 2 tbsps. olive oil

  • 1/2 cup red wine

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 3 tbsps. fresh parsley roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Avocado puree

  • 1 avocado

  •  juice of 1/2 lemon

  • 1 tbsp. chopped parsley

  • salt to taste

Chestnut puree

  • 150g chestnuts

  • 30 mls double cream

  • pinch of cinnamon

  • pinch of ginger


Make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together. Put the pheasants breast in a shallow bowl and pour the marinade over and leave to marinade for at least one hour.

Mash up the avocado in a bowl, add the parsley, salt and lemon juice, use a hand blender to blend to a smooth consistency.

Boil the chestnuts for 5 mins, when soft strain off the liquid saving some for later, push the chestnuts through a sieve, then put the strained mixture into a pan with some of the reserved liquid, mix well and then add the cream and pinch of cinnamon and ginger, use a hand blender to blend to a smooth consistency adding more of the reserved liquid as required.

When the pheasant is ready, heat the oven to 180°C, wrap each pheasant breast in the bacon slices, put the pheasant in a roasting dish and pour over some of the remaining marinade.

Cut the parsnip into strips lengthways and then cut each of the strips into 8-10 cms pieces, put the pieces into a roasting tin in one layer, season with salt and pepper and drizzle over 2-3 tablespoons of sunflower oil. Roast the parsnips in the oven for 35-40 mins.

Cut the potatoes into cubes of approximately 1.5 cms, bring a large pan of water to the boil then add the potatoes and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and leave to one side.

When the parsnips have been roasting for around 10 mins, put the pheasant in the oven and roast for 20-25 mins

10 mins before the pheasant is ready heat 6-8 tbsps. sunflower oil in a large none stick frying pan, add the potato cubes and sauté, turning with tongs to ensure that they brown evenly.

When every is ready plate up the dish and serve.