Ballynatray Pheasant
serves 4

8 pheasant breast fillets
20 thin slices smoked bacon

pheasant farce
80g pheasant mince
15g bread crumbs
1 egg yolk
65ml cream

pheasant bitterball
200g braised pheasant meat
200ml pheasant stock
45g butter
55g flour
2 leaves gelatine
1tbs chopped parsely
2 egg whites
bread crumbs

pheasant skin snaps
130g pheasant skin
120ml pheasant stock
1tsp finely chopped thyme
63g tapioca flour

sweet potato fritters
200g sweet potato, peeled
1 leaf gelatine
50g Abbot’s Gold cheese
10ml hazelnut oil
1 egg yolk
lemon thyme
herb bread crumbs
egg whites

sweet potato fondants
2 sweet potatoes
1 clove garlic
3tbs red wine vinegar
70ml chicken stock

grilled pear
2 ripe pears

pear pearls
1 ripe pear
50ml Helvick blond beer
lemon thyme

beer gel
140ml Helvick Blonde beer
1.4g xantana

parsley gel
140ml parsley juice
1.4g xantana

marinated sprout leaves
24 brussels sprout leaves
40g white wine vinegar
10ml olive oil

pheasant jus
parsley powder

Cliff House Hotel

County Waterford

head chef
Martijn Kajuiter

Pheasant breast
Make the farce by whipping the cream with a pinch of salt. Blend the mince, egg yolk, breadcrumbs and seasoning until very smooth. Fold through the cream.

Spread out 2 layers of cling film and arrange 5 rashers of thinly sliced smoked streaky bacon lengthwise. Place a breast with the side where the skin was down, season lightly, and spread a tablespoon of farce evenly over the fillet. Place another fillet on top, the thicker end on top of the thinner end, to give an even double fillet with farce in between. Fold over the cling film, making sure the fillets are covered with bacon, and shape into a cylinder sealing both ends of the cling film. Rest for 2 hours.

Poach the pheasant at 58˚C in a water bath for 25 minutes. Before serving take off the cling film and brown on all sides in foaming butter. Let the pheasant rest in the pan for 2-3 minutes before carving.

Pheasant bitterball
Soak the gelatine in cold water and dice the pheasant meat very finely. Brown the butter and add the flour to make a roux; when it is shiny and releases from the bottom of the pan carefully add the pheasant stock and stir until the lumps are out of the mix. Gently cook for 10 minutes, then fold through the pheasant meat, season, add the gelatine and parsley, and heat through for another minute. Pour out onto a tray and cool in the fridge.

When cool, divide into 35-40g portions and roll by hand into smooth round balls. Spread flour on a tray and lightly coat the balls by gently rolling them through the flour. Whisk the egg whites with salt and spread the bread crumbs on a tray. Carefully dip the balls into the egg and coat them with the breadcrumbs. Repeat the egg and breadcrumb stages for a thick coating. Store in the fridge, and deep fry at 175ºC until golden brown before serving.

Pheasant snap
Place the pheasant stock and skin in a thermo blender and set on 90˚C. Add the thyme leaves, and turn on the blender at high speed. After 2 minutes add the tapioca flour, reduce the speed, and heat for another 3 minutes, then transfer the mix to a small container to cool.

Preheat the oven to 170˚C, place half a spoonful of mix on a baking tray and spread it out with a flat spatula: repeat until the tray is full, sprinkle on a few seasalt crystals, and bake for 10-12 minutes until golden brown. Let the snaps cool, then store in a dry airtight container until use.

Sweet potato fritters
Soak the gelatine in cold water. Dice the peeled sweet potatoes in even cubes and cook until soft in boiling salted water. Purée the sweet potatoes, add the gelatine while warm, then add the cheese, oil and egg yolk and mix until smooth. Let the mix cool, then divide into 25-30g portions and coat, store, and deep fry as per the bitterballs above.

Sweet potato fondants
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into 3cm slices, then with a small dough cutter (1.5-1.8cm) cut out small rounds from the slices. Sear in an oven-proof pan with a knob of butter, a lightly crushed clove of garlic, a few sprigs of thyme, and seasoning. When golden brown add the red wine vinegar and let slightly cook away, then add the chicken stock and toss the ingredients around. Transfer the whole pan to the oven at 175˚C and cook, glazing from time to time, until shiny and soft in the middle.

Grilled pears
Peel and slice the pears lengthwise into 6 parts. Cut out the pips, then lightly coat each slice with oil and cook on both sides on a hot griddle. Season, and warm the pear though in the oven for serving.

Pear pearls
Place the beer and thyme in a 200ml kilner jar with a pinch of salt. Peel the pears and cut out pearls with a very small scoop. Immerse the pearls in the beer, seal the jar and shake gently, then store in the fridge until use.

Parsley and beer gels
Both gels are made by the same method. Juice a good bunch of fresh parsley, then simply whisk the xantana until dissolved, check the seasoning, and store in a squeezy bottle for use. Repeat with the beer, which doesn’t need seasoning.

‘Marinated’ sprout leaves
Make the instant marinade by mixing the vinegar and oil with a pinch of salt and sugar. Soak the leaves just before serving so they stay firm, but with a subtly sour flavour.

To assemble, arrange dots of the two gels, then place 5-6 sprout leaves around the plate with slices of grilled pear. Heat the pheasant jus, add some soaked pear pearls and season to taste. Deep fry the sweet potato fritters and bitterballs, arrange on the plate, and position the sweet potato fondants around it. Carve and place on the plate and spoon the sauce around the dish. Finish with pheasant snaps and herb powder.