Duck Breasts with Redcurrant Sauce

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Duck Breasts with Redcurrant Sauce

As duck is such a rich meat, it needs something sharp to cut through the fat. Redcurrants are perfect for this and make a lovely piquant sauce. Save the fat that renders out of the skin as it makes delicious roast potatoes. 

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 4 Duck Breasts, trimmed of excess skin & fat and with the “true-fillet” removed
  • 2 Shallots, finely chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
  • 2 Glasses of Red Wine
  • 1 Orange, juice and zest
  • 1 Sprig of Rosemary
  • 1 Tsp of Tomato Paste
  • 1 Punnet of Redcurrants

  1. Start by slashing the top of the skin on the duck two or three times with a sharp knife. This will help the fat render out leaving a crispy skin.  Heat a frying pan until searing hot and place duck, skin side down, in the pan (not too close together or the meat will steam).  When the fat is beautiful golden color, turn the meat over and sear for 30 seconds on the other side then remove to a roasting tray.  This can sit like this until you are ready to cook them.
  2. For the sauce, gently cook the onions and garlic in a little of the duck fat.  Add the wine, grated orange zest, juice, and rosemary and tomato paste and reduce by half.
  3. Heat your oven to 220C and only when it’s hot, put in the duck for seven minutes only. Take out of the oven and rest for at least 10 mins (20 mins would be better).  While the meat is resting, using a fork, push the redcurrants off their stalks into your sauce.  Re-heat and stir until the redcurrants have burst and the juice is combined with the sauce.
  4. Slice your duck breasts on an angle and serve with potatoes wedges cooked in duck fat and your piquant redcurrant sauce.

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Duck Breasts with Redcurrant Sauce Duck Breasts with Redcurrant Sauce (913 KB)

Potted Venison

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Potted Venison

This is what we call proper traditional English food. Nothing beats potted meat served with fresh crusty bread and a fruity home-made chutney. Great for picnics, light lunches, a started and freezes beautifully, so make more than you need. This needs to be cooked overnight, so think ahead! 


  • 1 Shoulder of Venison, boned and roughly chopped
  • 1 Ltr of Red Wine 
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 5 Juniper Berries
  • 6 Rashers of Smoked Streaky bacon, rinds removed but reserved
  • 200g of Unsalted Butter, in chunks
  • 1 Garlic Bulb, sliced in half
  • 5 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 2 Sage Leaves
  • 1 Lemon, rind grated
  • 1 Pack of Butter for finishing the dish
  • Small bay leaves for decorating
  1. Start by tying the bacon rinds together with the thyme, bay leaves and sage with kitchen string. Place in the bottom of a casserole dish with the venison, chopped bacon and all the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Cover with grease-proof paper and a tight fitting lid and put in the oven on 130c overnight (approx 8 hours).
  2. In the morning, remove all the meat from the casserole, leaving all the herbs and spices behind. Strain off some of the liquid. Melt the pack of butter and pour off the milk solids so you are left with a clear liquid. Pour 1/3 into a Magimix with the meat and a ladle of the cooking liquid. Whiz up with salt and freshly ground pepper until smooth.
  3. Pot into your ramekins and pour over the remaining melted butter to cover the meat. Slip a bay leaf under the butter for decoration. Chill. Serve straight from the fridge with bread and chutney.

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Potted Venison Potted Venison (653 KB)

Pheasant Schnitzel

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Pheasant Schnitzel 

This is a simple and delicious way to use up pheasant breasts and popular with kids as well. Serve with sautéed potatoes and savoy cabbage. 


  • 4 Pheasant Breasts
  • Milk to cover
  • 200g Dried Breadcrumbs
  • 2 Eggs
  • 5 Tbsp of Flour
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Firstly remove the little mini fillet from the bottom of the breasts.  Save these for a stir-fry.  Put your breast between 2 layers of greaseproof paper then whack them thin with a rolling pin. When satisfactorily thin, soak in milk for an hour or two. This whitens the meat and if it is particularly gamey, makes the flavour milder for younger palattes. 
  2. Dry the meat off with kitchen paper, then arrange three flat bowls with seasoned flour, beaten eggs and lastly the breadcrumbs. Make sure you have a tray lined with greaseproof ready for the schnitzels.  Do one breast at a time. Dip into the flour, then shake off any excess.  Dip in the egg, then lastly coat in breadcrumbs. If you have missed a bit, just re-dip in egg and back in breadcrumbs again. Lay out on the grease-proof.
  3.  When ready to cook and they are pretty quick, fill a big frying pan with 2cm sunflower oil and when it’s hot add your schnitzel.  After a minute or two, turn them over to do the other side.  Eat immediately with a wedge of lemon.

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Pheasant Schnitzel Pheasant Schnitzel (990 KB)

Warm Salad of Pigeon, Bacon & Black Pudding

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Warm Salad of Pigeon, Bacon & Black Pudding 

The salad is the signature starter at the Pot Kiln. We estimate that we have sold over 20,000 pigeon breasts since we opened in 2005! You can make the dressings in advance and keep for other uses, so this is actually a lot simpler than it sounds to make. 

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 8 Pigeon Breasts, skin off
  • 16 rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon (preferably dry cured)
  • 1 Black Pudding, as firm as you can find
  • Splash of Jerez Vinegar
  • Olive oil
  • Mixed Fresh Leaves, washed and dried
  • Thick Balsamic Vinegar
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • White Wine Vinegar
  • Grain Mustard
  • Honey
  • Maldon Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper

  1. Make the French Dressing by mixing 2 parts Extra virgin olive oil to 1 part white wine vinegar.  Add 1 tsp of mustard and 1 Tsp of honey, with a little salt & pepper to season.  Whisk together and set aside. Slice the bacon into lardons and cook until crispy in pan with no added oil.  Drain on Kitchen paper.
  2. Cut the black pudding in bite-size chunks and heat through in a pan with a little olive oil until faintly crispy on the outside but still soft throughout. Rub pigeon breasts with olive oil and salt and pepper just before cooking.  Sear and really hot pan for 1 ½ mins on each side.  In the last 30 seconds, splash a little Jerez vinegar over the pigeon and allow to reduce. Set aside to rest for 3-4 mins.  This will allow the juices to redistribute themselves giving an even pink throughout.
  3. Lightly dress your salad leaves with the French dressing and pile in the centre of each plate.  Sprinkle the bacon and black pudding around the leaves.  Carve the pigeon breast on an angle into 3-4 slices and arrange on top of the leaves.  Drizzle the Balsamic Vinegar around the edge of the leaves with another drizzle of French Dressing.  Sprinkle some Maldon salt and a grinding of pepper and serve immediately.

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Warm Salad of Pigeon, Bacon & Black Pudding Warm Salad of Pigeon, Bacon & Black Pudding (293 KB)

Pheasant Curry

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Pheasant Curry 

The key to this dish is using freshly ground spices. We use an old coffee grinder that belonged to my mother and these are incredibly useful. 

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 4 Pheasant Breasts, sliced lengthways
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • ½ Tin of Full Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 Tbsp of Tomato Paste
  • 1 Tsp of Coriander Seeds
  • 1 Tsp of Cumin Seeds
  • ½ of Cinnamon Stick
  • ½ Tsp of Fennel Seeds
  • ½ Tsp of Dried Chilli
  • 1 Tsp of Turmeric

  1. For the sauce, sauté off the shallot and garlic as before.  Add a touch of the wine from cooking the pheasant, then the stock, cream and rosemary.  Reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove the rosemary, season and add the whisky.  Keep warm.
  2. Blanch your ravioli in boiling salted water and remove into a bowl.  Mix the sauce with the ravioli and serve with grated parmesan and some rocket salad.

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Pheasant Curry Pheasant Curry (1048 KB)

Muntjac Ragu with Fresh Tagliatelle

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Muntjac Ragu with Fresh Tagliatelle

Not many people realise you can eat Muntjac. These little Chinese deer came over to the UK with the Duke of Bedford for his deer park at Woburn Abbey. They quickly spread and can now be found almost everywhere. The meat is dense and flavoursome. It can be treated like lamb in lots of ways as it is delicious both pink and slow cooked. We use it in this recipe as it holds its texture very well and makes a wonderful winter feast. Buy fresh dried Tagliatelle for this. 

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 1 Muntjac haunch, boned and diced
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • 2 Carrots, diced
  • 4 Sticks of Celery, diced
  • 2 Glasses of Red Wine
  • 100ml Fresh Chicken Stock
  • 2 Tins of Chopped Italian Tomatoes
  • 10 Sprigs of Thyme
  • 1 Tbsp of Redcurrant Jelly
  • 1 Tbsp of Tomato Ketchup (we favour Tiptree)
  • 1 Tsp of Tomato Paste
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. The great thing about this recipe as it cooks overnight and the meat doesn’t need searing first, so it can be thrown together and left alone to make its magic.  Gently sauté off the veg until soft then throw in all the rest of the ingredients.  Give it a good stir, then put a greaseproof cartouche (circle lid) over the liquid and follow with a tight fitting lid.  Put in a low oven 130c for 8 hours.
  2. In morning, check the seasoning, give a good stir and it can be frozen or re-heated from this point when ready to serve.  Mix well with the tagliatelle before serving (don’t just plonk it on top). Shave good quality parmesan over before serving and a drizzle of Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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Muntjac Ragu with Fresh Tagliatelle Muntjac Ragu with Fresh Tagliatelle (923 KB)

Rabbit Lasagne

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Rabbit Lasagne

The dish was created for the last Tuscan night at the Pot Kiln and was a roaring success. It is melt in the mouth tender and worth every bit of effort to make it. This is a dish for when you have time to get stuck in. It can be made in advance and finished in the oven when you are ready for it. 

Ingredients (Serves 8) 

  • 4 Wild Rabbits, offal removed and jointed up
  • 1 Onion, diced
  • Duck or Goose fat to cover
  • 8 Rosemary Sprigs
  • 4 Garlic Bulbs, cut in half across the equator (skin on)
  • 4 Leeks, cut down through the middle then sliced into half moons
  • Fresh Lasagne Sheets (buy more than you think you need, you can freeze what you don't use)
For the Sauce:
  • 100g of Butter
  • 3 Tbsp of Plain Flour
  • ½ Pint of Full Fat Milk
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Onion
  • 5 Cloves 
  • 200g of Parmesan (24 month aged parmesan has the best flavour)
  • Salt & Pepper

  1. Put the rabbit joints into a large dish and cover with the fat.  Push in the rosemary and cover with grease-proof paper so it touches the fat.  Put on a tight fitting lid and cook in the oven for 3-4 hours until meltingly tender. At the same time, put the garlic bulbs into aluminium foil parcels, drizzle with a little olive oil and scrunch them up so they are sealed.  Cook for 1 hour in the oven. Gently sauté the leeks in butter until they are soft but not coloured. Cool.
  2. Make the béchamel sauce by heating the milk with a bay leaf and the onion skinned and studded with the cloves.  Add a few whole black peppercorns.  Melt the butter and stir in the flour, then cook for a couple of minutes on a low heat, stirring to prevent burning.  Slowly add the milk through a sieve and stirring to combine. When all the milk has been added check the consistency.  It should be runny enough to pour but thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.  If too thick, add more milk until correct.  Grate half the parmesan into the sauce.  Cool with greaseproof touching the top to prevent a skin forming.
  3. When rabbit has cooled slightly, pick all the meat off the bones and discard the bones.  Tear the meat into bite-sized pieces and mix through the two thirds of the sauce with the leeks.  Squeeze the flesh from the garlic bulbs into a bowl and squash slightly before adding to the sauce as well.  Season well.
  4. In your lasagne dish, start layering the meat with the pasta sheets, starting with the meat and finishing with a layer of pasta.  Spread the remaining white sauce over the top and grate the remaining parmesan over the top. When ready to cook, put in pre-heated oven at 180c for 20 mins or until bubbling and golden.  Serve with fresh salad leaves. 

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Rabbit Lasagne Rabbit Lasagne (728 KB)

Pave of Venison with Pomme Puree and Green Peppercorn Sauce

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Pave of Venison with Pomme Puree and Green Peppercorn Sauce

People travel from far and wide to come to the Pot Kiln and eat this, our most famous dish. It was inspired by the French form of butchering a "slab or tile" from the haunch of beef or lamb. It involves separating the primal muscles from the thigh, then trimming off all silvery sinew and fat until you are left with a piece of meat that looks like fillet but has the flavour of rump. All the muscles are different sizes and depending on which you have cut down into paves the size of your fist. Depending on which species of deer you have the haunches will be completely different sizes, so is hard to be specific about how many you will get from any particular beast. We would expect to get 11 paves from on haunch of Roe Deer, which is one of the most tender and delicious of all the British species. 

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 4 Paves of Venison
  • Olive oil
  • Thyme
  • Pepper
  • 3 Desiree Potatoes
  • 200ml of Double Cream
  • 150g of Unsalted Butter
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Trimmings from Paves
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1 Carrot, chopped
  • 2 Celery Sticks, chopped
  • ½ Red Wine bottle
  • Splash of Port
  • Splash of Brandy

  1. Rub the paves with oil and tear off some of the thyme leaves and a good grinding of pepper. Don’t season with salt at this stage or it will draw out the juices from the meat.  Set aside (not in fridge as you need meat to be room temperature before cooking).
  2. For the sauce, fry in a little olive oil the trimmings and mirepoix (carrots, celery and onion) until dark browned but not burnt.  Add the wine and cook for an hour on a low temperature at a gentle simmer.  Strain out the meat and veg and return to a clean pan.  Add the port and brandy and reduce by half.  Stir through the marmite, ketchup and jelly, then add the peppercorns just before serving.
  3. Peel, chop and boil the potatoes until just cooked through. Strain and leave to steam for a couple of minutes so any excess water is removed. Push through a sieve, mouli or potato ricer to ensure there are no lumps. This is known to us as Dry Mash and can be stored like this for a few days.  Just before serving, heat the cream and butter in a saucepan with salt and pepper.  When hot, stir in the dry mash and beat until emulsified and soft.
  4. Heat a frying pan until searing hot and have your oven hot at its highest temperature (230c).  Sear the paves, one at a time, then put into a roasting tray with the rest of the thyme and roast for no more than 5 minutes. Take out of the oven and rest for at least 5 minutes on a wooden board.
  5. When ready to serve, have the potato and sauce hot, then smear your potato over the bottom of the plate.  Sit any green veg you have blanched on the potato, then slice the pave onto the veg.  Drizzle with sauce and serve immediately.

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Pave of Venison with Pomme Puree and Green Peppercorn Sauce Pave of Venison with Pomme Puree and Green Peppercorn Sauce (379 KB)

Wild Rabbit Confit with Garlic & Rosemary

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Wild Rabbit Confit with Garlic & Rosemary

This recipe may look incongruous at first sight, however, trust us. It is absolutely amazing and you really do need the quantities stated. Don't try and cut back on any of the ingredients as it won't work. The wine and oil create an emulsion sauce which is delicious with sautéed new potatoes and griddled courgettes. Please be aware that rabbit is boney and it might be a good idea to warn your guests that there may be small bones on their plate. 

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 4 Wild Rabbits, skinned and jointed into legs, shoulders and the saddle cut in two (make sure that the liver is removed). The belly flap and ribs and pelvis can be omitted
  • Plain Flour
  • 1L of Olive Oil
  • 1L of White Wine
  • 5 Bulbs of Garlic cut in half
  • 20 Sprigs of Rosemary
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Lemon, squeezed

  1. Start by heating a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan. Dip each joint of your rabbit in seasoned flour and dust off any excess.  Fry the rabbit joints a few at a time, to colour, then transfer to a larger casserole dish.
  2. Pour over the olive oil, wine and add garlic and rosemary. Stir. Make a cartouche of grease-proof paper (a circular piece to fit the top of the pan) and push down so it sits on top of the liquid.  Do not put a lid on, as we want the liquid to reduce a bit during cooking.  Cook for 2 – 3 hours on a quiet simmer.  
  3. When ready, squeeze over the lemon juice and season to taste.  Serve immediately as the emulsion will separate if left to cool.  The meat should be meltingly tender and falling off the bone.  Give each guest one leg, one shoulder and one loin section.

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Wild Rabbit Confit with Garlic & Rosemary Wild Rabbit Confit with Garlic & Rosemary (1618 KB)

Pheasant Ravioli with Whisky Sauce

Recipes by Mike Robinson: Pheasant Ravioli with Whiskey Sauce

This is a revelation as it is a fabulous way to use up pheasant thighs and utterly delicious in its creamy whiskey sauce. A real winter warmer. Making pasta is a lot easier than you might imagine, but you could use fresh lasagne sheets. 

Ingredients (Serves 4) 

  • 400g of Flour
  • 4 Large Free-Range Eggs
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Semolina Flour for holding the Ravioli
  • 4 Pheasant Thighs, boned and chopped
  • 1 Shallot, chopped
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
  • 1 Glass of White Wine
  • Splash of Double Cream
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 200ml of Fresh Chicken Stock
  • 1 Shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 Garlic Clove, finely chopped
  • 4 Sprigs of Rosemary
  • 200ml Double Cream
  • 50ml Scotch Whiskey

  1. Make your filling first.  Gently sauté the onion and garlic until soft, add the pheasant and white wine.  Gently simmer until pheasant is just cooked.  Transfer meat and veg to a Magimix and blend with the cream to a smooth paste. Keep the cooking liquid for sauce.
  2. To make the pasta, put flour, eggs and salt in the Magimix and blend until dough comes together.  You may need to knead a bit more flour in if its very sticky.  Start rolling the dough through the pasta machine, always keeping it dusted with flour.  On setting 1, run a small piece of dough through, then immediately fold into three.  Run through the machine in the opposite direction to the previous time.  Repeat three times, then move to setting 2.  Do exactly the same as on setting 1.  On settings 3, 4 and 5 don’t fold the pasta at all.
  3. As soon as you have a flat strip, dot the filling down the centre with 1cm spacings until halfway along the sheet.  Using a pastry brush, dampen around the filling, then fold over the other side of the pasta sheet to cover the filling.  Press each ravioli individually from the centre of the filling, outwards, to remove any air pockets.  Stamp out with a cookie cutter or cut around the ravioli with a knife.  When each ravioli is made put into a deep dish and cover it with semolina flour so that they don’t all stick together.
  4. For the sauce, sauté off the shallot and garlic as before.  Add a touch of the wine from cooking the pheasant, then the stock, cream and rosemary.  Reduce until thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon.  Remove the rosemary, season and add the whisky.  Keep warm. Blanch your ravioli in boiling salted water and remove into a bowl.  Mix the sauce with the ravioli and serve with grated Parmesan and some rocket salad.

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Pheasant Ravioli with Whiskey Sauce Pheasant Ravioli with Whiskey Sauce (519 KB)