English country life – pheasant and partridge

I’ve got a week off from work and have been cooking quite a lot of food, it is just the perfect way for me to relax. In that context I have been wanting to improve my sauce skills a little so I have focussed on making meat and fish with matching sauces.

Winter is game bird season and because its not something I can get easily in the city I was more than excited to get to fabulous birds from the farmshop for only 3 Pounds each.

I got a pheasant and partridge from our local farm shop butcher. Both birds were plucked, gutted and cleaned.

For two  portions:

1 cleaned pheasant and partridge
1 medium sized onion 
1 medium sized shallot
1 carrot
300ml dry red wine
150ml stock (beef, veal, game, etc)
2 mini cauliflowers (or half a normal one)
3 medium potatoes
5 leafs of savoy cabbage (half a small one)
6 sprigs of fresh thyme
salt, pepper, nutmeg


I started by removing the legs of the pheasant and the wings of the partridge. Next, I cut off the breasts of both pheasant and partridge. Unfortunately, my knifes were not sharp enough to cut them off with the skin, please leave it on if you can. Cut off any meat left on the bones for the stock.

In a casserole dish, heat some rapeseed oil on medium heat. Chop one shallot, one onion and a carrot roughly. Sauté the onions and carrot in the hot oil. Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme and the leg/wing meat into the pan. Sear until brown. Deglaze the pan with 300ml of dry red wine and add 150ml of good quality beef or game stock. Leave to simmer on low to medium heat until the sauce has reduced to half.

In the meantime, cook cauliflower florets and small chunks of potato in boiling salted water separately. When fully cooked, drain and transfer to a food processor/tall bowl. Season with salt and some pepper. Add two large knobs of butter and some milk. Blitz until you get a smooth and creamy puree without any lumps. Keep warm until serving.

Bring water to a boil and cut the savoy cabbage into thin strips (removing the stalks first). Blanch cabbage (cooked but still crisp, placed into ice water and drained). Melt a knob of butter in a saucepan over low heat. Toss the cabbage in the butter and season to taste (e.g. salt, pepper, nutmeg). Keep warm until serving.

When the game sauce is reduced sufficiently, remove the pieces of meat and sieve the remaining sauce. Keep the sauce and thicken to taste with whisking in some flour/cornflour. Add some more butter to taste if necessary.

Heat some rapeseed oil and a large knob of butter in a pan over low heat. Add some sprigs of fresh thyme. Panfry the pheasant and partridge breast until slightly coloured.  They should be served slightly pink.

Serve breast meat with cauliflower puree, savoy cabbage and the game jus. Enjoy 🙂

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