Roasted Christmas birds, mustard fruits, pancetta and porcini stuffing

Roasted Christmas birds, mustard fruits, pancetta and porcini stuffing

A Christmas treat.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Duck, Partridge, Pheasant
Servings 6


  • 2 oven ready partridge
  • 2 oven ready pheasant
  • 2 oven ready mallard

For the stuffing

  • olive oil, for frying
  • 50 grams butter
  • 4 finely chopped banana shallot
  • 3 finely chopped celery sticks
  • 4 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 bunch chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 10 finely chopped sage leaves
  • 500 grams free-range pork mince
  • 150 grams smoked diced pancetta
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 0.5 tsp mixed spice
  • 4 roughly chopped dried figs
  • grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 2 free-range eggs, beaten
  • 100 grams fresh breadcrumbs
  • 75 grams pine nuts
  • 30 grams dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 10 minutes, chopped (reserve the water for gravy)
  • salt and pepper

For the gravy

  • 2 litres strong chicken stock
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 grams plain flour
  • 10 grams softened butter
  • 380 grams jar of Italian mustard fruits


  • Preheat the oven to 190°C
    To make the stuffing, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan with the butter cook the shallots, celery, and garlic for about 10 minutes until soft.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Mix all the other stuffing ingredients in a bowl, then add the cooled shallot mixture and stir. Season with some salt and pepper. To taste the mix before cooking, fry a bit in a small frying pan and adjust the seasoning if necessary.  Roll the stuffing into 12 x 75g balls leaving the remaining stuffing to one side.
  • Season the birds generously inside and out and put into a roasting tin. Stuff the neck cavity of the birds with the remaining stuffing.
  • Rub the birds with olive oil then roast for 20-45 minutes taking out the birds as they are cooked: the partridge will take 20-25 minutes, the pheasant 25-30minutes and the mallard 35-45 minutes. Cook the stuffing balls on a greased tray for the final 25 minutes.  If the birds brown too quickly, cover them with foil.  Once cooked, set aside to rest for up to an hour before carving.
  • Meanwhile make the gravy.  Put the stock, rosemary, and bay leaves in a pan along with the reserved mushroom soaking liquid.  Bring to the boil and simmer until reduced by half.  Season to taste, and then strain. Cream the flour and butter and add to the gravy in small pieces, whisking as you go.
  • Drain the mustard fruits and add some of the syrup to the gravy, season to taste and keep warm. 
  • To serve, put the birds on a deep platter with the stuffing balls, then pour over some gravy, a little of the remaining mustard fruit liquid and top with the whole mustard fruits.


Recipe supplied by Rachel Green
Keyword Duck, Partridge, Pheasant