Cooking with Andy McLeish

PUBLISHED: 07:14 22 August 2014 | UPDATED: 07:14 22 August 2014

Roast partridge

Roast partridge

© Ming Tang-Evans

Michelin-starred Andy McLeish chooses his ingredients for this tasty game dish and explains why autumn is his favourite season, with the best local ingredients

Without question autumn is my favourite time of the year. It’s game season and I absolutely love everything game.

You can find me rummaging through forests in hope of also coming across the prized cep mushrooms, as well as all seasonal game. At my restaurant, I will always have three to four different game dishes on my menu, which will hopefully include cep mushrooms if they are plentiful.

There is a large selection of game in Kent and as a chef I am truly spoilt for choice. In particular there are a lot of game birds such as partridge, woodcock, pheasant and mallard.

During this time of year, it’s legal to hunt all birds and you must adhere to the seasons. However, I don’t like using pheasant until the first frost is on the ground. The cold produces more fat, which in turn make it a better quality bird.

I often go shooting for game to serve in my restaurant. I’ll always choose rough shooting as opposed to shooting from a peg, as it’s a more ethical way of hunting.

Venison is also a favourite of mine with Fallow, Sika, Roe and the occasional Muntjac deer in season now. When I’m not shooting, I’ll always head to Chart Farm in Seal for my venison. Their meat is second to none and they also have an exotic breed of Pere Davide; it’s divine.

This month I am challenging you to cook a bird which isn’t very popular in British households. My recipe of roast partridge with Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and Madeira is extremely tasty and surprisingly very easy to do.

Enjoy - and happy game season!

RECIPE

Roast partridge with Brussels sprouts, chestnuts and Madeira

Serves four

Ingredients

4 partridge crowns (legs and wishbone removed)

200g Brussels sprouts

100g peeled chestnuts

100ml Madeira

200ml chicken stock

200g salsify

100g pancetta lardons

150g butter

2 large parsnips (peeled and cut into small pieces)

100ml milk

For the parsnip purée

In a pan, warm the milk and add the chopped parsnip pieces and slowly cook until it is soft, cover with a lid. Next, remove the parsnips from the pan and place in a blender. Blend until smooth, season and put aside. This can be made in advance and re-heated.

For the garnish

Remove the outside leaves of the Brussels sprouts and cut in half. Place them cut side down in a hot pan with a little butter and caramelise the one side until a dark golden brown colour is achieved. Add a splash of chicken stock and reduce until the stock has evaporated. Remove from the pan and put aside. Next, colour the chestnuts in a hot pan with a little butter. Add 100ml of Madeira reduce then add 100ml chicken stock and reduce further until the chestnuts have a nice sticky glaze. Remove from the pan and keep warm.

Peel and cut the salsify into four lengthways. Pan-fry in a hot pan until nicely coloured. Add the pancetta lardons, colour and remove from the heat.

Next, season and colour both sides of the partridge in butter. Place in a hot oven at 180 degrees for six minutes. Remove from the oven and rest in a warm place for three minutes and keep in the roasting juices.

While the partridge is resting, warm the vegetables in a little butter and toss together with the sprouts, salsify and chestnuts. Season with salt and pepper and place in a neat pile on a plate.

You can either serve the partridge on the bone whole or you can take the breasts off the bone. Place on top of the vegetables with some parsnip purée and a drizzle of the roasting juices.

FIND OUT MORE

Chapter One, Farnborough Common, Locksbottom, Kent, BR6 8NF

01689 854848

www.chapteronerestaurant.co.uk

Follow Andy on [Twitter SYMBOL] @andy23471

Next month: autumn comfort food

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