Roast Partridge with Pear and Thyme.
We’ve spent the last 5 months visiting various blogs throughout the UK who have been championing their own local produce and cuisine. Literally from Lands-End with Choclette from Tin and Thyme to John o Groats, with Janice at Farmers Girl Kitchen. During that time, you’ve all risen to the challenge with some fabulous and topical entries. What’s the inspiration behind my Roast Partridge with Thyme and Honey Glazed Pear recipe? Read on to find out more.
This month, because it’s the grand final and I know we haven’t had a chance to visit EVERYWHERE yet, I decided that you could choose your own part of Britain (or one with a cuisine you particularly like). My entry is for Norfolk because I grew up there and my memory is very much of fenland root vegetables, of game (there are some fabulous shoots around Sandringham) and of my mother’s own simple cookery.
The Fens are a vast expanse of drained marshland that stretches from Norfolk to Cambridgeshire and up to Lincolnshire. The peaty soil is very rich and perfect for growing crops like celery, potatoes, celeriac, turnips, swedes and sugar beet. The very flat landscape means that arable farming is made easy – fields are large and farm machinery doesn’t have to negotiate hills, woodland and winding paths. I love the open skies – I haven’t found anywhere else in the UK with such brilliant night time skyscapes, bizarre places where the peat has shrunk so that roads and canals run above the fields and the eeriness of fenland fogs.
I also love the unspoilt beaches. I was brought up in Hunstanton, a quirky seaside town that time seemed to have forgotten. There are cliffs and rockpools – and further along vast sandy beaches with dunes, creeks and waterways. And of course, there is local seafood – I remember cockles and whelks, shrimps and crabs from small kiosks.
But it’s still the game I remember best. Probably because my mother used to curse as she was presented with another brace of pheasant, knowing she’d have to find a way to pluck them (I think she generally volunteered the lady who cleaned my Dad’s surgery!). And, Sunday lunch or supper was always a roast, whether it was beef, chicken, lamb, pork or pheasant. Partridge was rarer and kept for special occasions. But, it’s the perfect size for one person
We also always had apples and pears because we inherited the Doctor’s house from my Dad’s predecessor, complete with orchard and vegetable garden and I love pheasant or partridge with a fruit accompaniment of some sort. It cuts through the richness of the meat and helps to bring out the flavours. Partridge for me is the ultimate ‘scaleable’ meal because you need one bird per person – and if you are preparing a roast partridge, it will cook in the oven in 35 minutes.
Here’s my perfect Best of British Sunday Supper for One or Two – Roast Partridge with Honey Glazed Pears and Celeriac Mash.
Roast Partridge with thyme makes an easy supper served with Honey Glazed Pears and Celeriac
- 1 Partridge
- 2 Rashers of Bacon
- 1 Pear Cored and sliced finely
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon Honey
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 100 g Celeriac Root Peeled and chopped into 2cm chunks
- 1 Small Potato Peeled and Quartered
- 1 oz Butter
- 20 ml Milk
Pre-heat the oven to 170c
Put the Partridge on a small roasting tray and surround with the pear slices
Mix the honey, oil and thyme in a small jug and season with salt and pepper
Cover the Partridge breast with the bacon, then drizzle the honey and oil mixture over everything
Put in the oven to roast for 35-45 minutes (depending on size), basting occasionally.
15 minutes before you are ready to serve the Partridge, boil the potato and celeriac in lightly salted water till both are soft.
Drain, then add butter and milk. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mash thoroughly. For a lighter mash, cook the celeriac separately and blend with a hand mixer, before adding to the mashed potato, milk and butter.
Once the Partridge is cooked, allow it to rest for 5 minutes under a foil tent, before serving with the juices poured over
Roast Partridge with thyme and honey glazed pears - I have given quantities for one person, simply double for two people
Thinking of making this yourself? Why not pin this post for later
Looking for something different? Why not check out one of my other partridge recipes. Late in the season, it is best to pot roast game birds like partridge in a little wine. Here’s a recipe for pot roast partridge with sage which I love. Or for something a little fancier, how about this recipe for partridge with a red wine and medlar sauce. If you can’t get hold of medlar, then you could use redcurrant or cranberries.