Pheasant dumplings with squash broth and pumpkin oil
For the dumplings
- 450g/1lb minced pheasant meat
- 50g/1¾oz oats
- 8g salt
- 8g white pepper
- 6 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and chopped
- 4 sage leaves, chopped
- 1 free-range egg
- 1 dash white wine
- 1 pack wonton pastry squares
- 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with cold water to make a thin paste
For the broth
- 250g/9oz butter
- 2 kabocha or acorn squash, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 1 large banana shallot, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 500ml/18fl oz water or vegetable stock
- 1 orange, finely grated zest and juice
For the dumplings, mix all the ingredients, except the pastry and cornflour, together. Roll the mixture into balls weighing approximately 35g/1¼oz each.
Lay one sheet of wonton pastry on a board and brush with the cornflour mixture. Place a pheasant ball on top and lay another pastry sheet over the top. Press down to seal and stick. Cut around the pheasant mixture using a pastry cutter to neaten the dumpling. Continue this process until you have used all the pheasant balls. Rest the dumplings in the fridge for at least an hour.
For the broth, heat half the butter in a large saucepan. Very gently fry the squash, shallots and garlic until softened, but not coloured (this will take around 20-30 minutes).
Add the cayenne pepper, stock or water, remaining butter and a little salt and cook for around 10 minutes over a medium heat until tender. Add the orange zest and juice. Pour into a blender, blitz and pass through a fine sieve. Season with salt and pepper.
Steam the dumplings in a steamer or in a colander over a pan of boiling water for around 7–8 minutes, or until the filling is cooked through and reads 65C on a cooking thermometer.
Meanwhile, toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry pan until fragrant.
Divide the dumplings between deep, wide bowls and spoon over the squash broth. Garnish with the toasted seeds and pumpkin seed oil. Grate some fresh orange zest over and serve immediately.