- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 small or 2 large prepared partridges
- 150g/5oz smoked streaky bacon lardons
- 25g/1oz butter
- 16 small challots, peeled and left whole
- 2 carrots, cut into batons
- 2 bay leaves
- 150ml/5fl oz good quality chicken stock
- 1 savoy cabbage, outer leaves removed, then cut through the core into 8 wedges
- 200g/7oz cooked, peeled chestnuts
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas 3.
1. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole, add the partridges and brown them lightly all over.
2. Lift the partridges onto a plate, add the bacon lardons to the pan and cook until lightly golden.
3. Add the butter, shallots, garlic, carrots and bay leaves and cook over a medium heat until lightly coloured.
4. Return the partridges to the casserole with the stock, one teaspoon of salt and plenty of black pepper. Cover with a well-fitting lid, transfer to the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the birds.
5. Meanwhile, drop the wedges of cabbage into a pan of boiling salted water and blanch for 2-3 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold running water and drain again. Set to one side.
6. Remove the casserole from the oven, take out the partridges, cover and leave to rest in a warm place.
7. Add the cabbage and chestnuts to the casserole and turn them over once or twice in the cooking juices. Simmer on the stove for five minutes until the cabbage is cooked.
8. Divide the cabbage, chestnuts and braised vegetables between four warmed plates and place the birds on top. Serve with Apple mash – boil Maris Piper potatoes in salted water. Mash with a little milk and a couple of knobs of butter. Add a couple of spoons of apple purée and season.
Inspired and mainly lifted from a recipe by Rick Stein