Add a game twist to your Sunday Roast with Philippa Davis' salt-crust baked pheasant with truffle butter

Add a twist to your traditional Sunday Roast by putting game on the menu. Philippa Davis’ salt-crust baked pheasant with truffle butter is guaranteed to impress.

For more inspiration on how to get your pheasant from shot to pot, read The Field’s top ten best pheasant recipes. We have enough suppers to see you through the season and beyond.


Gamebirds can be tricky to roast as they dry out quickly and are not forgiving with timings. However, my salt-crust baked method is a fantastic way to ensure the meat stays moist and delicious.

Serves 4

  • 2 pheasants
  • Salt-crust pastry
  • 660g plain flour
  • 140g fine sea salt
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped rosemary
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 280ml cold water

For the cavity

  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 medium mushrooms, chopped
  • 60g truffle butter, for under the skin
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

For serving

  • 60g truffle butter
  • 6 sprigs rosemary
  • Non-stick baking paper

Preheat the oven to 175°C/335°F/Gas Mark 3.5.

Clean the inside of the birds and stuff them with the garlic, one sprig of rosemary each and the chopped mushrooms.

Gently slip your fingers under the skin around the breasts and push 30g of grated truffle butter into each bird.

Season the birds all over and rub with a little olive oil.

For the salt-crust pastry, in a bowl or food processor mix the flour, salt and rosemary, then add in the egg and water. Bring the mix into a ball.

Divide the dough into four balls with two balls being slightly bigger.

Roll out a small ball on a lightly floured sheet of baking paper. It needs to be big enough to take one bird leaving a 6cm edge. Brush edge with cold water.

Take another lightly floured sheet and roll out a larger ball into a disc large enough to lay over the pheasant and cover the base.

Lay the second disc over the bird and press the edges of the two sheets of pastry together, crimp and cut to neaten.

Repeat with the other pheasant and slip each of the birds onto a baking tray.

Bake in the oven for 1 hour, leave to rest for 10 minutes then take to the table to crack open and top with the extra truffle butter and sprigs of rosemary.

Once you have wowed guests carve and serve pheasant from a platter so the inedible pastry doesn’t soak up the juice.