The partridge is a small bird game native to the Old World. There are two species in Britain – the native grey, often called the English, and the French or red-legged, although partridge is less commonly found and used in the UK now, which is a shame as it is part of our traditional fabric.
All our game is supplied by Chanctonbury Game, which is in the heart of the South Downs. They prepare game from different estates and are very experienced in dressing and grading the best quality wild game to very high EC food approved standards. All the game we supply is wild – absolutely never farmed. Therefore, supply depends on the season and availability – which is just how it should be.
Partridge has a subtle flavour, and, in case of young birds, are best served simply roasted, pan-fried or grilled. Partridge are small birds and one will generally serve only one person.
Partridge is ideal for roasting, braising or simply spatchcock and grill. As with most game, some streaky bacon ensures moist meat. Be careful not to overcook – half an hour roasting is usually fine. You can serve partridge with a light gravy from the cooking juices. Partridge is a delicious dish that mostly needs sweet, roasted autumn vegetables, or traditional game chips as an accompaniment. It pairs perfectly with robustly flavoured ingredients.
Don’t treat partridge as you would a chicken –these birds need far less time in the oven, and are best served pink and juicy. However, older birds, benefit from slower braising and stewing to make the most of their intense, rich and robust flavour. The hen is tastier and more tender than the cock, and can be recognized by spur-shaped button on its foot.
Partridge meat is very lean and dark, similar to pheasant but firmer and not as delicate. It is high in B vitamins and is a good source of potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron.
How to store and freeze the birds?
Fresh partridge should be stored in the coldest part of your fridge for up to 3 days. Keep in the freezer for up to 6 months and thaw in the refrigerator when ready to use.
We selected for you the perfect recipe for summer! A delicious Italian partridge sandwich!
Italian Partridge Sandwich
Serves 5 / Preparation: 5 minutes / Cooking: 45 minutes
- 3 partridges
- 6 slices pancetta
- 6-8 slices ciabatta or country slice bread
- a little extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, cut in half
- 1 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
- 1 round buffalo mozzarella, torn into chunks
- 2 large vine-ripened tomatoes
- 6 sunblush tomatoes
- Handful basil leaves, torn
- 1-2 tbsp Taggiasca olives
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
- Smear the partridges well with butter and wrap each one with 2 slices of pancetta.
- Place in a roasting tin and cover with foil.
- Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then remove the foil and roast for further 10 minutes or until the juices run clear.
- Leave to cool slightly
- Drizzle a little olive oil over the bread and toast or chargrill on one side, then rub the toasted surface with the cut garlic and sprinkle over a little oregano.
- Slice the partridge and layer equally onto the toasted bred with the mozzarella, tomatoes, sunblush tomatoes, basil and olives.
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