For this round, as we slip into Autumn, something seasonal: Roast Partridge with Grapes and Walnuts. This is From Sophie Grigson’s Country Kitchen. I am hoping that some form of game bird are available locally where you live, any could be substituted if partridge cannot be found, and at a pinch I guess chicken could be used although the intensity of flavour will not match that of a ‘proper’ game bird.
Matching Game with Wine
Serving feathered game (partridge, quail, pigeon, grouse, guinea fowl, pheasant) is a great excuse for opening the best possible wines. Older vintages from Burgundy, Bordeaux and Rioja are superb accompaniments while the richer, fruitier wines from the New World should appeal to fans of the styles too. Depending on how strong you make the sauce you could also consider something spicy from the Rhône or, by taking the grapes and the walnuts as the starting point, a good white wine might be an option – a top Italian white to bring out the nut flavours perhaps or an Alsace Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc with enough weight, (maybe even a touch of sweetness to match the grapes), to balance the richness of the meat. As the advert says – the possibilities are endless. .
Roast Partridge with Grapes and Walnuts
From Sophie Grigson’s Country Kitchen
250g/9oz sweet grapes halved and deseeded
4-6 rashers streaky bacon
150ml/5 fl oz Madeira or a medium-sweet wine
100ml/3½ fl oz game or chicken stock
85g/3oz walnut halves
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 220C/425F/G4. Season the partridge with salt and pepper. Push 2 grapes and a small knob of butter inside each bird. Cut bacon in half and cover the breasts of each one. Place in roasting tin. Pour Madeira over followed by the stock. Roast for 25 minutes until cooked through. Baste Frequently.
Remove the bacon, baste, return to oven for 5-10 minutes to colour.
Add grapes and walnuts and return to the oven for another few minutes to brown the birds.
Taste pan juices. Boil if necessary to concentrate. Add the butter to thicken slightly and then spoon over the birds.
Serve with mashed potato.