Last Updated on February 20, 2020 by Fiona Maclean
Pot Roast Partridge with Sage and Festive Winter Wines.Jump to Recipe
Here’s another festive dish that would work for a Christmas meal for two. A whole partridge is the perfect size for one person and, if you are not planning on cooking a turkey dinner, it makes a good, light tasting game dish that looks festive. After all, it even appears in Christmas carols…
This method of cooking partridge is ultra simple and will allow for early or late season birds (which tend to be a little tougher). I personally love the flavour of sage in this dish and I tend not to use bacon to protect the breast – preferring to add a lot of butter and top with sage leaves which gradually turn crispy and make a lovely garnish. If you are cooking for one or two, this is an easy dish which excuses opening a bottle of white wine – you’ll need a generous glassful for the pot and then, of course, you have the rest to do what you like with!
We’ve been tasting wines for Christmas too. Champagne from Billecart-Salmon which I’ve tried before but wanted to pair with our proposed Christmas menu starter of smoked salmon or Pata Negra ham together with red and white wines selected for us from Jeroboams and sent for us to try with our festive Christmas feasting.
Our champagne, Brut Sous Bois, from Billecart-Salmon is perhaps one of the best examples of gastronomic champagne I know. We opened it before sitting down to eat and for the most part, my guests found it too dry without food. Once the plates of smoked salmon and Pata Negra went round though, it was a different story. Lightly oaked, there were notes of butter, brioche and citrus – an excellent pairing for the salmon and, for me, even better with the melting and flavour rich Pata Negra.
Billecart-Salmon Brut Sous Bois is entirely vinified in oak, and is made of all three Champenois grape varieties, 1/3 Chardonnay (Premier & Grand Crus vineyards from Côte des Blancs), 1/3 Pinot Noir (Premier & Grand Crus vineyards from Montagne de Reims, Aÿ & Mareuil-sur-Aÿ) and 1/3 Pinot Meunier (Vallée de la Marne)
It’s actually not that low a dosage at 7g – the feedback from my tasters probably reflected the fact they’d also been tasting white port before they started eating. The vinification in oak is followed by 7 years on lees. It’s a great wine to pair with a well-flavoured starter – as I said, my preference was pairing it with the Pata Negra and I’d have been happy drinking it with pâté or a mushroom feuilletté too.
Our main course wines were a bottle of Domaine Michelot Mersault 2017 and one of Château Coufran Haut Médoc 2001. I’ve already shared the Christmas flexitarian menu and food which came from Donald Russell and was easy to prepare, almost foolproof and utterly delicious. Apart from a whole range of Christmassy veg, we also enjoyed Salmon en Croute and stuffed Partridge – both of which I can strongly recommend.
With a table of seven, two pescatarians, there was inevitably something of a run on the Mersault, which everyone loved with the Salmon en Croute. It was popular with the stuffed partridge too – I’d made white wine and cream sauce that would work with both dishes (not with the Mersault!) Tasting notes included – dry, nutty, with notes of butter, vanilla, peach and apple.
It’s 100% chardonnay and a blend of the different parcels that make up Domaine Michelot, around the village of Meursault with a terroir of chalk and clay. After fermentation, the wine is matured on French oak barrels for 12 months before bottling. A sixth-generation winery of over 19 hectares, the Domaine achieved widespread recognition in the 60s under the direction of the late Bernard Michelot and is now run by a younger generation from the family.
The Château Coufran Haut Médoc 2001 would probably have benefitted from decanting, something I didn’t do. A medium-bodied red Bordeaux 12.5% ABV, this had notes of dark fruit and wood. I suspect it might be better paired with venison or beef than with the partridge, but as a red wine lover I was still happy enough and if you are serving red meat on your Christmas table, you might consider this.
Our wines were sent to us by Jeroboams, a London based wine merchant, with 9 stores and a comprehensive website. One piece of advice, if you are unsure of what to pair with a special meal and you are close enough to somewhere like Jeroboams, do pop in and ask for advice. Meanwhile, after trying the special boned partridge from Donald Russell as part of this Christmas meal, since there’s just two of us, I’ll be serving my partridge recipe for New Year’s Eve this year – I might just go and find some of the Domaine Michelot as it was an excellent pairing.
Without further ado here’s how to make pot roast partridge with sage. You’ll notice my photos are for one person – I make this for supper when I want a self-indulgent treat – but it works just as well for two people!
An easy recipe for pot-roast partridge cooked in white wine with sage
- 12 Sage leaves
- 50 g Unsalted butter
- 2 Partridge
- 150 ml Dry white wine
- 2 Banana shallots
- 5-6 Juniper berries lightly crushed
- 100 ml Chicken stock
Take the partridge and the butter out of the fridge about half an hour before starting to cook
Peel and quarter the shallots
Set the oven to 175C
Pat the partridge dry and using the back of a teaspoon (or your fingers), coat the breasts with a generous amount of butter
Season well with salt and pepper
Press the sage leaves onto the butter to form a coating
Pour the wine and chicken stock into a heavy-based casserole
Put the partridge in the pot and surround with shallots and juniper berries
Cover the pot and put in the oven
Cook for 20 minutes, then remove the lid to cook for the final 15 minutes
Remove the partridge and the sage leaves from the pan and keep warm while you reduce down the liquid a little. Strain and serve with the partridge, garnished with the crispy sage leaves
Serve with a green vegetable and roast potatoes
This is one of those dishes I come back to throughout the winter. I grow sage in the garden and there’s still plenty to harvest at this time of year. I buy my partridge from my favourite meat supplier, Marsh Produce at the local farmers’ market at Oval for £3.49 each. It’s less of an extravagance than steak or a lot of fish. It’s very easy to cook and, because there’s one per person, no one has to carve!
If you are thinking of making this yourself, why not pin the post for later
Billecart-Salmon is stocked in the UK by Selfridges, Harvey Nichols and Harrods and is available from leading Wine Retailers or from www.champagnedirect.co.uk
You can check for your nearest branch of Jeroboams or order online from their website