Find new ways beyond the classic roast to serve a family feast with pheasant. Try Philippa Davis' pheasant meatballs in broth with orzo

As the freezer starts to fill, it is time to find new ways to make a feast from pheasant without serving yet another roast. Philippa Davis’ pheasant meatballs in broth with orzo would make an excellent kitchen supper when the temperature drops, or serve it for your next shoot lunch.

A slow-cooked pheasant broth is excellent for keeping the sniffles at bay. Try our Greek-inspired slow-cooked pheasant with chickpeas Revithia for the best kind of comfort food.


Serves 6


  • 2 oven-ready pheasants
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • Small handful of parsley stalks
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns


  • 600g raw pheasant meat (about 2 pheasants)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Pinch of red chilli flakes


  • 150g cavalo nero, stalks removed, blanched, drained and chopped
  • 200g squash, peeled, deseeded, chopped into 1cm cubes, blanched in boiling water until just soft then drained
  • 150g orzo, cooked as per packet instructions then rinsed in cold water
  • 1 fennel bulb, cut into 6 lengthways then finely sliced
  • 120g mixed mushrooms, torn into small pieces

For the pheasant broth, place all the ingredients for the broth into a large pot and then cover with 3 litres of cold water.

Bring to a simmer and cook for 2 hours.

Sieve the liquid into a second pot then simmer down until you have 1.2 litres. Season.

You can shred and use the meat for a pie, curry, coronation pheasant, pasty, and so on.

For the meatballs, blitz the pheasant in a food processor until smooth.

Mix with the rest of the meatball ingredients and season with some salt and pepper.

Roll into 24 balls.

Place on a tray in the fridge for 30 minutes.

To serve, bring the broth a simmer and add the meatballs, mushrooms and fennel.

Simmer for five minutes or until the balls are cooked.

Divide the cooked cavalo nero, squash and orzo into the serving bowls.

Ladle over broth and serve.