A Perfect Winter Warmer
The Swan's Head Chef Matt has put pen to paper in order to share this seasonal and quintessentially English recipe. Whether serving for a mid-week supper, a dinner party dish or a family Sunday lunch, this is a recipe that is simple to deliver and while the outside world is being battered by wintry winds, it will give the foodies in your life a great big heart-warming hug. Serve with a well seasoned celeriac puree and winter greens.
Serves 4 people
- 2 whole partridges, oven ready
- 2 large carrots, 1 cm dice
- ½ celeriac, 1 cm dice
- 1 leek, washed & roughly chopped
- 100 g silver skin onions, peeled
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled & chopped
- 2 sprigs of rosemary, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato purée
- 300 ml red wine, optional
- 2 ltr chicken stock
- Plain flour
- 100 g flat leaf parsley, chopped
- Vegetable oil
- Salt and pepper
For the suet pastry:
- Soft butter for greasing
- 300 g self raising flour, plus extra for dusting
- 140 g shredded suet
- 2 tsp English mustard powder, optional
- 150 ml cold water
- Good pinch of table salt
Pre heat oven to 180°C
- Heat a large pan with oil, season the partridge with salt and pepper and then add to the pan. Turn the partridge every few minutes until brown on all sides. Once sealed set the birds aside.
- Add the carrots, celeriac, onions, leek, garlic and rosemary with a little more oil to the pan. Colour the vegetables slightly then add 4 tbsp of plain flour, mix with a wooden spoon to form a paste. Then add the tomato purée, red wine and reduce by half.
- Add the partridges back to the pan, cover with chicken stock. Cover the pan with a lid, and cook in the oven for about an hour or until meat is falling from the bone and the vegetables are soft.
- Once cooked take all the meat off the bone. Discard led shot if you find any, add the meat back to the pan, with the chopped parsley, and season to taste.
- Generously butter a 1.5 litre pudding basin.
- To make the pastry, mix together the flour, mustard powder, suet and table salt. Add enough cold water, about 150 ml, to make a soft dough. Remove one-quarter of the dough and set to one side. On a heavily floured surface, roll out the remaining dough to make a large round, big enough to line the basin.
- Carefully lay the pastry in the basin (aim to have 1 cm of pastry overhanging the rim). Roll out the remaining one-quarter into a circle big enough to cover the top.
- Spoon the filling into the lined basin and pour over 100 ml of the cooking liquid. Fold the overhanging pastry and brush with water. Place the lid on top, pressing firmly around the edges to seal.
- Place the basin into a deep oven proof dish, half fill with hot water and cover with tin foil. Cook for approximately 2 hours, or until the pastry is cooked.
- Heat the remaining cooking liquid and serve as a gravy.