Put the garden and chest freezer bounty to good use simultaneously, with Philippa Davis' poached pheasant with herby potato and green bean salad

Philippa Davis’ poached pheasant with herby potato and green bean salad makes for a satisfying supper from the garden and freezer. Even if the flea beetle has enjoyed its share first…

Game pairs excellently with salad, while still feeling like comfort food. Try the often overlooked pigeon, with our warm pigeon breast salad and spring onions.


As you will see from the picture, the flea beetle has a particular penchant for my rocket leaves. After numerous failed interventions I decided eventually just to take it as a compliment.

Serves 2

Poached pheasant

  • 1 pheasant
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns

Herby mayonnaise

  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 tsp cider vinegar
  • 300ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 30g roughly chopped mixed soft herbs, such as dill, parsley, mint, basil, marjoram

Salad assembly

  • 400g salad potatoes, cooked, cooled then cut into large pieces
  • 200g green beans, cooked and cooled
  • Handful salad leaves
  • A few sprigs of soft herbs, such as dill, mint or parsley

For the poached pheasant, place the pheasant, onion, garlic, bay and peppercorns in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 1 hour (or until the pheasant is cooked).

Leave to cool a little then shred the meat, discarding the skin (you can add the bones back to the liquid to make a tasty stock).

Once the meat is shredded, cover and cool completely and store in the fridge.

The herby mayonnaise is best made in a food processor. Tilt your food processor so it is stable but at an angle (I fold a tea towel and prop up one side).

Blitz the egg yolks and half a teaspoon of cider vinegar for at least 1 minute – it should go pale and begin to thicken.

With the motor running slowly pour in the oil – if it starts to get really thick add 1 tablespoon of hot water.

Keep the motor running and add the rest of the vinegar, mustard, salt and herbs.

Blend for 30 seconds then stop. Check the seasoning.

Keep in the fridge until needed.

To assemble, in a bowl mix the cool potatoes, beans, pheasant, some of the salad leaves and mayonnaise. Stir gently and check the seasoning.

Serve with a few extra salad leaves and herbs scattered on top