Pot-roasted Partridges with Red Cabbage, Garlic and Juniper
This is a delightful way to serve plump little partridges, one per person, and the combined flavour of red cabbage, garlic and juniper are the perfect match.
|4 x 8 oz (225 g) partridges|
|1 lb (450 g) red cabbage, shredded finely (weight after discarding core and outer leaves)|
|1 clove garlic, crushed|
|6 juniper berries, lightly crushed|
|2 tablespoons olive oil|
|1 x 130 g pack cubetti pancetta|
|2 medium onions, finely sliced|
|2 level tablespoons light soft brown sugar|
|10 fl oz (275 ml) red wine|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4, 350°F (180°C).|
|Oven temperatures and Conversions|
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|You will also need a flameproof casserole with about 6 pint (3.5 litre) capacity.|
This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine (Guide to Poultry and Game Cookery).
First of all, heat the olive oil in the casserole over a fairly high heat. Season the partridges then brown them all over in the hot fat before removing them to a plate. Next, brown the pancetta, which will take 4-5 minutes, then remove that to the plate. Now soften the onions for 5 minutes until golden then add the garlic and juniper berries. Cook these for a further minute before adding the cabbage: stir and cook this for about 15 minutes.
After that, add the sugar, red wine, browned pancetta and a seasoning of salt and pepper, then give everything a good stir. Now sit the partridges on their backs on top of the cabbage and bring to simmering point.
Cover the casserole, place it in the oven and pot roast for 40 minutes. Then remove the lid and let everything cook for another 10 minutes or so to crisp up the skin of the birds. Serve one partridge per person on a bed of red cabbage, with some cranberry jelly as an accompaniment and perhaps some small Jacket Potatoes.
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The secret of perfect jacket potatoes is not to hurry them – give them up to 2 hours to get the really crunchy skin. Add rock salt and crushed black pepper, then eat and savour it alone in all its humble, simple glory.
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