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River Cottage Recipe - Roast Partridge, apple, beetroot and hazelnut salad

From field to plate (or mug), Game Birds have come home to roost in their gorgeous rustic hues. To complement our new Game Birds and Feather range, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage have shared with us one of their popular Autumn recipes. 

Ingredients

1 Partridge will serve 2 as a starter or light lunch or 1 as a main course

1 medium cooked beetroot cut into dice, wedges or chunks

1 small apple cut into wedges

A selection of herbs (thyme, rosemary, parsley or sage)

Some winter lettuce, a good mix of bitter and sweeter varieties

Apple balsamic

Red wine

Hazelnuts

Butter

Extra virgin olive or rapeseed oil

Method

Prepare your partridge for roasting by plucking, gutting and washing if necessary. Save the heart and liver as it’s a shame to waste them! Preheat your oven to around 220 degrees, season the partridge inside and out and put a walnut sized piece of butter and a little sprig of herbs in the cavity.

In a hot frying pan seal the both sides of the partridge in hot oil (not olive as it burns), do not however fry the breast side as they are delicate. Transfer the bird to the oven, either in its pan or on a roasting tray. Roast for 12-15minutes for a juicy, slightly blushing finish to the bird.  Remove from the oven and leave to rest whilst you prepare the salad.

Pan fry the apples (ideally in the partridge pan) with a fresh knob of butter. Once you turn them over add the beetroot, then the hazelnuts let them sizzle together a minute then add a splash of red wine let it bubble then a splash of apple balsamic, reduce this dressing a little so that it is more syrupy than saucy. Spoon some apple and beetroot over a few salad leaves and try to layer them up as you go. Remove the wishbone from the partridge and carve the breast away, slice it up and lay it over the salad, spoon over the dressing, enjoy!