Pan-roasted partridge, pastilla and parsnips, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

04 January 2012
Pan-roasted partridge, pastilla and parsnips, by Madalene Bonvini-Hamel

(Serves four)

For the pan-roasted partridge
2 partridges
1tsp coriander seeds
5 black peppercorns
1 sprig of thyme
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1tsp olive oil
1tbs unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Prepare a saucepan filled with water, one sprig of thyme, coriander seeds and peppercorns, bring it to the boil.

Remove the legs from the partridges; roast them in the preheated oven with olive oil and seasoning for 25 minutes. Once cooked, flake the meat while hot and reserve for the pastilla.

Poach the partridge crowns in the boiling water for 1 minute, leave to rest for 5 minutes and remove the breast from the bone.

When ready to serve, heat a frying pan with butter, season the partridge breast and caramelise the partridge breast in the foaming butter skin side down, for 2 minutes, flip it over and continue cooking for a further 2 minutes on the reverse side. Drain on kitchen paper and serve immediately.

For the pastilla
100g roasted flaked partridge leg meat
100g finely sliced leeks
1 banana shallot, finely diced
1 clove of garlic crushed
20g unsalted butter plus 40g unsalted butter, melted
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
2tbs chopped mixed herbs (parsley, chervil, chives, tarragon)
2 sheets of filo pastry
Sumac powder

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Heat a frying pan with the butter and sauté the sliced leeks, shallot and garlic with seasoning until soft and transparent.

In a mixing bowl, mix the flaked roasted partridge leg meat, cooked leeks mixture and the chopped herbs.

Cut the filo sheets into 4cm wide strips and brush with melt the butter and scatter sumac over it. Spoon a teaspoon full of mix on one corner of each strip and fold it up in triangle shapes like a samosa, make two per portion, place the parcels on the baking tray and brush each with more melted butter and bake them in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes. Serve immediately once baked.

For the textures of parsnips and barley
6 large parsnips
70g unsalted butter
200g pearl barley, cooked
100g blanched kale, chilled and chopped
Few drops of white truffle oil
2 sprigs of thyme
50ml olive oil
200ml milk
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the truffled parsnips and barley, peel and dice 2 parsnips into 1cm cubes. Heat a large non-stick frying pan with 2tbs butter - once it's foaming, sauté the parsnips with seasoning until they turn golden brown, reduce the heat and cook the parsnips until soft and caramelised but not mushy.

Add the cooked pearl barley and kale and truffle oil and adjust the seasoning if needed. Keep warm.

For the thyme roasted parsnips: Preheat the oven to 200°C and line a roasting tray with parchment paper.

Peel two parsnips and cut each into six long wedges. Lay the parsnips on the tray; season and add the 50ml olive oil, mix.

Roast the parsnips for 10-12 minutes, until golden and tender to the knifepoint, once cooked chop the thyme and scatter over, set aside until needed.

For the parsnip purée: Peel and dice the last two parsnips into 2cm squares, heat a saucepan with the remaining butter and sauté the parsnips until they start to turn golden, season as you cook. Once the parsnips are nearly tender enough add the milk and continue cooking until soft. While the parsnips are still hot, purée until a smooth but thick purée, taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

To serve, spoon the warm purée on to warm plates, spoon the barley mixture in the centre, place the roast parsnips on top along with the partridge breast, one per portion and two pastillas against the partridge. Optionally shave fresh black truffles over. Serve immediately.

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