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English partridge, Savoy cabbage and bacon by Dominic Chapman

22 October 2007 by
English partridge, Savoy cabbage and bacon by Dominic Chapman

Ingredients
(Serves eight)

8 English partridges
15g thyme
1 bay leaf
16 thin rashers streaky bacon
80g butter

For the Savoy cabbage and bacon

750g Savoy cabbage
150g bacon, cut into small pieces
180g butter
120g onion, sliced
150g carrot, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, bashed
8g salt
Cracked black pepper
100g boiled chestnuts
1tsp herb leaves

For the sauce

700g partridge bones
200g carrot
200g onion
100g leeks
100g celery
50g garlic
40g butter
5g juniper berries
25g thyme
4 bay leaves
750ml red wine
750ml amontillado sherry
1 litre chicken stock
1 litre veal stock
Squeeze lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Method

Remove outer dark green leaves from cabbage. Take light green leaves and remove hard core running through each. Shred cabbage evenly.

Slice bacon and cut into small pieces, place in a pan of cold water and bring to boil. Remove from water and let cool.

Sweat onion in butter with no colour. Cook carrots in butter but don't colour. To finish, put butter in cold pan on a low heat. Once it has melted, add bacon and fry with a little colour. Add sweated onion and carrot and cook out for one minute then add cabbage, salt, garlic and pepper. Stir all ingredients together and put a lid on pan. Cook out for five minutes on a low heat, until tender but still vibrant green. Stir cabbage every two minutes. Once cooked, remove garlic, brown some chestnuts in foaming butter and add. Finish cabbage with herbs and seasoning. Serve immediately.

Clean partridges and remove all guts. Stuff with aromatics. Place in a vac-pac bag and seal well. Place in water bath at 55°C for one hour. Remove from bag and brown skin on all sides in foaming butter. Season and serve immediately.

If not using water bath, tie sliced bacon over breasts of the partridge, roast in oven at 200°C for 10 minutes, turning from time to time, then rest for five minutes and serve.

For the sauce, brown off all bones and keep to one side. Evenly brown off all vegetables in butter and keep to one side. Deglaze the same pan with sherry and reduce to a syrup. Add red wine and reduce. Add bones and caramelised vegetables. Add stock and cook out for one hour. Pass through a fine sieve and reduce to correct consistency. Do not over-reduce sauce or it will overpower the partridge. Refresh sauce with lemon juice and chopped herbs.

Dominic Chapman, head chef, the Royal Oak, Maidenhead, Berkshire

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