Partridge cooked three ways
This recipe from The Manners Arms in Knipton, Lincolnshire, celebrates the best of the early game shooting season with a wonderful combination of autumnal flavours. By Jane Pruden.
4 large potatoes
1 Savoy cabbage
1 large parsnip cut in to 8 length ways and roasted with honey
4 shallots (banana)
200ml goose or duck fat
1 sprig of thyme, rosemary, bay
1 clove of garlic
1 pint of good chicken stock
4 slices of parma ham
2 pieces of star anise
300ml red wine
Remove the legs from the birds and put to one side. Remove four breasts from two birds and refrigerate along with the other two birds.
To make the leg confit
Heat the goose or duck fat in a roasting pan on the stove, add the garlic, herbs and star anise and add the partridge legs. Cover with tin-foil place and roast in a medium heat for 35/40 minutes.
To make the mousse
Take the four breasts and remove all skin and sinew. Place in a food blender, and blitz for ten seconds. Add 100ml of double cream, salt and pepper and blend for another ten seconds. Place a piece of cling-film on the work surface and lay the parma ham on to it so that the pieces of ham overlap. Spread the partridge mousse on to the ham and roll with the cling-film to form a sausage. Twist the end of the cling-film to tighten. Cook in boiling water for ten minutes. Remove from the water and cool. Refrigerate until needed.
To make the fondant potato
Peel the potatoes, cut in half lengthways, place 250g of unsalted butter in to an ovenproof dish and heat on the stove. Once butter starts to melt add the potatoes, baste with the butter and place in an oven at 175°C for 20 minutes.
To make the cabbage
Thinly slice the cabbage. Melt 200g of unsalted butter in a large pan and slowly cook until tender then add 100ml of cream and season.
To make the sauce
Finely chop one shallot and put in a heated small pan on the stove with 200ml of good red wine. Reduce to jam consistency and add the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat slightly and reduce the sauce by half.
For the partridge
Heat a heavy pan on the stove and add a dash of oil and 100gms of butter. When the butter foams, add the two partridge breasts, season with salt and pepper turn and brown the other two breasts, baste and place in the oven for six minutes.
To complete, place a piece of greaseproof paper on to a baking tray, and place the potatoes, the partridge legs and the partridge sausage (slice into 4 pieces) and heat through in the oven.
Spoon a portion of cabbage on to the plates. Layer the fondant and a slice of the sausage on top. Place two legs either side. Remove the whole breasts from the carcass (they should be slightly pink) and rest one on to each dish. Flood each plate with sauce and arrange two roasted parsnips against each breast and serve.
The Manners Arms Inn, Knipton, Lincolnshire
The Manners Arms Inn, situated in the heart of the Belvoir estate, is owned and managed by The Duke and Duchess of Rutland. Head chef, Paul Hoad, has taken full advantage of local produce and the seasonal supply of game from the estate's shoot, and has launched the 'Gourmet Game Club'. Special nights feature both contemporary game dishes and traditional recipes found in the Castle's cookery books. For restaurant and room bookings tel: 01476 879222 or visit the website: www.mannersarms.com