Partridge is great game bird but people usually think of cooking pheasant before partridge. Let us change that as there will be plentiful partridge about this year. Usually available from September, once the season starts, right through until the end of January.  Generally speaking we don’t think it needs hanging but a brace will keep for several days in the fridge before they’re needed.

Braised partridge with onion tatin and Madeira sauce

By Annette Cole Published: September 2, 2016

  • Yield: 2 Servings
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 60 mins
  • Ready In: 1 hr 15 mins

Partridge is great game bird but people usually think of cooking pheasant before partridge. Let us change that as there will be …

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat a few drops of olive oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan with a crushed clove of garlic and a sprig of thyme. Add the partridge breasts. Once the oil has warmed up again, add a knob of butter.
  2. Seal the partridge breasts until they are lightly browned on one side. Then flip and repeat for the other side. This should take no more than two minutes per side.
  3. Just before they are ready add a teaspoon or so of sherry vinegar to take the browning off the pan. Season to taste with salt, pepper and (optional) dried orange zest.
  4. Roll the partridge breasts in the juices, remove from heat and rest in a warm place (oven or grill) for five minutes or so
  5. Madeira Sauce Reduce Madeira and white wine by half. Add garlic, thyme and veal and chicken stock. Reduce to preferred consistency. Check for preferred consistency and flavour. Remember a thin sauce with a good flavour is better than a thick, coating sauce with a bitter, overpowering flavour. Add sugar or lemon juice to taste.
  6. Onion or shallot Tatin The first step is to make the caramel shells for the tatin. This can be done days in advance. Mix 200g / 7oz of white sugar and 125g / 4 1/2oz of unsalted butter in a saucepan. Stir and boil until the mixture turns to a golden brown caramel and emulsifies. Spoon into individual cake or pudding tins and leave to set.
  7. Poach half onions or banana shallots in seasoned water or stock until tender. This should take about 20 minutes. Remove and season with soy sauce, sherry vinegar, salt and pepper. Place each shallot or onion in an individual cake tin on the caramel shell and top with puff pastry. Bake for 10 minutes at 180 degrees. When the puff pastry is browned and the caramel is bubbling, turn out carefully.
  8. Vegetables Peel and slice new potatoes and sauté raw in olive oil and butter until golden brown. Thinly sliced potatoes will cook this way without boiling. At most this takes eight minutes or so. In the meantime sauté the leek and spinach in butter until soft Put the tatin on a plate and layer the potatoes, spinach and leek
  9. Layer the two breasts on the vegetables and drizzle with the Madeira sauce
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