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A recipe for game risotto

Thanks to Joshua Carter of the Holland & Holland restaurant for sharing this. Serves four.

pheasants in countryside

Rearing pheasants is very satisfying

This delicious game risotto recipe blends rabbit and pheasant meat together. Don’t use ordinary rice – it won’t work. You really need to have risotto rice, but it’s easy to source in supermarkets and inexpensive.

Recipe for game risotto


  • 300g Arborio or Carnaroli risotto rice
  • 1 leek finely diced (white part only)
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1.4 litres of chicken stock
  • 4 rabbit legs
  • 50g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 80g diced butter
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 4 pheasant breasts
  • 1 small head of cavalo nero, stalks removed and chopped
  • 50g grated parmesan plus a little extra to finish
  • 100ml of dry white wine
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • Half a lemon


Set the oven to heat to 160ºC.

First cook the rabbit legs. Season the legs well and colour well in a pan. Cover in a small pan with the stock and bring to the boil and add the porcini mushrooms. Cook in the oven for about 45 mins and allow to cool in the stock. When at room temperature, pick the meat off, strain and reserve the stock, chopping through the porcini and keep aside for later.

Sweat the onion and the leek in the olive oil with a good pinch of salt and some pepper.  Add the rice and toast well in the pan. Add the wine and reduce on a medium/ high heat. Bring all the stock to the boil (including the stock used to cook the rabbit legs) and gradually add 1 ladle full at a time- you may not need all of it- with a risotto you just need to judge the consistency when you think the rice is cooked. Continue to cook for about 20 mins. In the meantime, sear the pheasant breasts in a frying pan, skin side down. Season well and cook for a about four minutes on a medium-high heat, flip for 30 seconds, add the thyme and 20g of the diced butter. Remove from the pan and rest well in a warm place, pouring over the pan juices.

When the risotto is about three quarters cooked, add the cavalo nero with an extra ladle of stock. Once cooked remove from the heat and add the porcini mushrooms, butter, parmesan, rabbit meat, parmesan, lemon juice and parsley.

Allow to sit for 5 minutes and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Carve the pheasant breasts, spoon the risotto onto plates and place the breasts on top.