One of the good things about my favourite fishmonger, Out of the Blue, is that – like any good fishmonger – they supply game during the season. It’s very well priced there and I picked up a couple of partridges for just £2.50 each. Great stuff. I’ve already done a stewed partridge recipe from the book. As well as specific recipes, Griggers goes through each game species with some advice on how to cook them. Here is what she says about partridge:
Roast: 30 minutes, 220⁰C;
Inside: chopped liver, chopped onion and butter, mushrooms chopped and stewed in butter;
Serve with: bread sauce, etc as for pheasant (see this recipe);
Braised: with chestnuts and cabbage and white wine (see this recipe).
So roast them I did. I filled them with onion and butter (the fillings used for game are there more to prevent them drying out than anything else, really). Before roasting I did make sure they were well-seasoned. To serve I thought I’d add some mashed potatoes – the bland creaminess goes well with strong metallic-scented game – and some kale with fried bacon lardons stirred through them. Lastly I made a sweet rich sauce from half a pint of strongly-flavoured game stock made from a woodcock carcass (see next entry, if I pull my finger out and write it!), a tablespoon of redcurrant jelly and the deglazed juices from the roasting pan (I used some port do to the deglazing).
#203 Partridge – 6/10. I liked the partridge, the leg meat was very gamey and the breast meat milder; a good combination. I am assuming that they were our own indigenous grey partridges because of their small size and strong flavour (there are two species in the UK, the other being the slightly larger and introduced red-legged partridge). There was a surprisingly large amount of meat on these little birds and one was certainly enough per one person. I would certainly recommend trying them if you haven’t before, though I’d go for the braised recipe rather than this roasted one.