Smoking Partridge

At Spartan, we tend to eat a lot of venison as this is what we shoot the most. However, we are still partial to a partridge when we can get one, and this delicious recipe is a real winter warmer. The smokiness from the bacon and the paprika is a welcome change from your classic roast, and is sure to leave your guests impressed, while you sit back and relax with a super simple recipe! One partridge will feed one person, so you can easily multiply this recipe for as many as you are hosting. 


In a large roasting tray, add a splash of oil and line the bottom with shallots and garlic. Generously coat the birds in paprika, ensuring they are dry first. Once coated, wrap each one in streaky bacon - the more the better in my opinion - and place these on top of the shallot and garlic bed. 


The trick to cooking partridge is to ensure it does not dry out. No one likes tough game. Roast the birds gently for 30 - 40 minutes checking on them regularly. While the birds are cooking you have plenty of time to create the rest of your meal. Our Hannah swears by stilton mash for this, and we don't blame her. In a large pot of heavily salted water, boil 6 large peeled and chopped potatoes until a fork can easily pierce them. Mash them with as much cream as you want, a generous pinch of sea salt and black pepper, and it's time for thepièce de résistance. Add about 300g (or as much as your heart desires) of a good blue stilton, mashing until fully combined with the potatoes. 


At the same time as your partridge go in, I recommend starting on your honey and sesame roasted carrots. These take a while to cook but are truly worth the wait. If you're impatient, you can chop your carrots into batons and they will take a fraction of the time. Simply chuck your chopped carrots into a baking tray, coating them with a nice olive oil. After 15 - 20 minutes, generously cover them with honey, making sure they're evenly coated and none are left out. When they are nearly done, sprinkle over some sesame seeds and give them about 10 minutes more. These need a low heat - about 180 - to ensure they dont burn and get nice and soft. 


We all know the final fancy addition to any good roast is tenderstem broccoli. Simply boil in salted water until they are as soft as you like. 


Once everything is ready, get your partridge out of the oven. Helped by the bacon and partridge juices, the shallots and garlic should have helped create a super tasty gravy in the bottom of the pan. Serve up your birds with their bed and pour some of that juice on top. 

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