Roast partridge with pancetta and braised cabbage

Partridge makes a tasty change from chicken - and as each person gets a whole bird, this is a great dinner party dish.

Serves 4, 30 mins preparation, 35 mins cooking


  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 4 oven-ready partridge
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 thin slices streaky bacon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 200g pancetta, diced
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 small Savoy cabbage (outer leaves removed), quartered, cored and finely shredded
  • 100ml double cream

  • Roasting tray
  • Casserole dish


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7.
  2. Smear butter over each partridge, place a sprig of thyme over the breast and wrap two slices of streaky bacon over the top of each bird.
  3. Place all four in a large roasting tray and roast for 10 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to 180°C/gas mark 4 and cook for a further 20 minutes.
  5. While the partridge are roasting, heat a large casserole dish over a high heat, then add the vegetable oil and pancetta, stirring until it's coloured and lightly crisp. Transfer it from the pan to a warm dish, using a slotted spoon, and keep it in a warm place.
  6. Add the chopped onion to the casserole dish, and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the celery, carrot and thyme leaves. Cook for a further 2 minutes before adding the shredded cabbage. Stir for 4-5 minutes, reduce the heat, then place a lid over the casserole. Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. When the partridge have finished roasting, remove the tray from the oven. Cover with tin foil and rest in a warm place for 10 minutes.
  8. Add the pancetta and cream to the braised cabbage and season with salt and pepper.
  9. To serve, place a mound of cabbage in the centre of a warmed plate, sit the rested partridge on top and pour the pan roasting juices over each one.

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