Monica Galetti’s partridge with red wine, poached pears & chestnut crumble is a shining example of how game can be just as delicate as other meats
“I love partridge. It’s a bit more delicate and less gamey than some other wild meats, and so quick and easy to cook.
You’ll find it from September until about February in the UK. Be really careful not to overcook it.
For this recipe I’ve paired it with pear and chestnut: it works really well and adds a lovely winter spice, especially combined with the crunch of the bacon and crumble.”
For the partridge:
• 1 whole partridge, plucked and innards removed
• 2 rashers of thin streaky bacon
• olive oil, for cooking and dressing
• 1 tbsp salted butter
• 3 Brussels sprouts, leaves separated
• 4 cooked chestnuts, thinly sliced
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the chestnut purée:
• 125g cooked chestnuts
• 1tsp butter
• 250ml chicken stock
For the pears & sauce:
• 2 small Conference pears
• 400ml red wine
• zest and juice of 1 orange
• 80g granulated sugar
• 1 cinnamon stick
• 4 cloves
• 2 cardamom pods
• 1 star anise
• 200ml brown chicken stock
• knob of butter
For the crumble:
• 1 tbsp crushed pistachios
• 1 tbsp chopped cooked chestnuts
• 1 tbsp crushed feuilletine biscuits
1 For the partridge, remove the legs and wings, keeping the breast on the bone.
2 Wrap the bacon around a stainless steel baking rod or mould and cook, turning, under a hot grill until crispy; set aside.
3 For the chestnut purée, put the chestnuts and butter in a pan and cook until coloured, then add the stock and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes.
4 Blitz until smooth, adding extra stock if needed. Keep warm.
5 For the pears and sauce, peel the pears and place in a small pan with the wine, orange zest and juice, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and star anise.
6 Bring to the boil, then simmer until cooked through, about 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the liquid, then remove and reserve the pears.
7 Strain 200ml of the cooking liquid into a pan and reduce to a thick consistency. Add the stock and reduce to a good sauce consistency, then remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Set aside and keep warm.
8 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Heat a non-stick ovenproof frying pan and drizzle in a little olive oil.
9 Place the whole partridge skin side down in the pan to colour. Turn over and sear on the other side.
10 Add a knob of butter and transfer to the oven for 5 to 6 minutes, then remove and leave to rest for 5 minutes before removing the breasts.
11 Pour out the cooking butter from the pan, add a fresh knob of butter and heat until just bubbling.
12 Add the crumble ingredients to the pan and stir into the butter. Spoon over the partridge breasts.
13 Quickly toss the sprout leaves in a little oil or butter seasoned with salt and pepper.
14 To serve, cut the pears into pieces your preferred size. Place some chestnut purée on a plate. Place the partridge, bacon and the pears on the purée and sprinkle the sprout leaves over and around.
15 Finish with a drizzle of the sauce, serving the rest on the side.
Recipe and image courtesy of Monica Galetti, extracted from GLORIOUS GAME: Recipes from 101 chefs and food writers. Published by Face Publications, click here to purchase.