Saturday, 14 January 2012

Roast Partridge with mushroom farci, braised red cabbage and wet polenta

I went home last week for a few days and as usual the fridge was empty, all my mum seems to eat during the week is hummus and cheese and the occasional leftover from the weekend.
I found some partridges in the freezer and since I hardly ever cook game I thought I would invent something. I had a look at lots of different recipes but couldn't find one that I really liked so I made this one up. It was really really delicious and an amazing wintery mixture of flavours. You could do it with any other game birds or venison would also be pretty good.

Mushroom farci
8 mushrooms any kind you like, diced into small cubes
a few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves
1 large clove of garlic finely chopped
glug white wine

Put a splash of oil and a knob of butter in a pan and when hot add the garlic and stir for a few seconds and add the mushrooms and thyme. Cook off for a few minutes and then add a splash of wine and cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed back into the mushrooms and then take off the heat and put in a bowl to cool.

4 Partridges (1 per person)
8 slices of streaky bacon

Preheat the oven to 200˚.
Rub a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper onto and in the cavity of the partridges and then stuff the insides with the mushroom farci.
Wrap around the two pieces of bacon and tie a piece of string around so it doesn't fall off during cooking.

Heat a pan until hot with a little oil and fry the outside of the birds quickly until they have a little colour then put on a baking tray and roast in the oven for around 20 mins

When cooked cover with foil and a tea towel and let rest for 10 mins, meanwhile pour a little red wine into the patridge pan and chicken stock with a teaspoon of redcurrant jelly and reduce until you have a nice little sauce.

Red cabbage braised with bacon, apple and balsamic vinegar
olive oil
1tbsp fennel seeds
250g streaky bacon finely sliced
1 onion peeled and sliced
2 eating apples peeled and chopped into 2cm cubes
1 red cabbage sliced or chopped into chunks
150ml balsamic vinegar
a knob of butter and freshly chopped parsley to serve

Grab a heavy based ovenproof pot and glug some olive oil in. When hot add the fennel seeds and bacon and fry up until golden then add the onions and put the lid on. After a few minutes give the onions a stir and keep cooking with the lid on until the onion is soft and a bit sticky. Add the chopped apple and the cabbage and balsamic and stir in well, season and then pop in the oven at about 160˚ for about an hour stirring occasionally.
Your end result should be deliciously sweet sticky cabbage, put the knob of butter on the top until it melts and sprinkle on some parsley to serve.

Wet Polenta
250g Polenta
1 litre stock
Grated parmesan 2 big handfuls
100g butter

Bring the stock to a boil in a big pan and then let simmer, pour the polenta out of a jug in a steady stream and then immediately start whisking so you don't get lumps.
You want it wet enough to spoon onto a plate so add more stock if it gets too thick. Put a lid on it on a very low heat and keep stirring occasionally for around 45mins. It will taste bland at this point so go crazy on the salt and pepper and stir in the parmesan and butter until it's good. Also really good with chopped thyme in.

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