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If both my new cookbook (Nigel Slater's Kitchen Diaries) and the Times 2 section from last Friday mention Partridge then I can only conclude they must be in season. I have a bit of a food-lust with game, feathered or otherwise, so I required no excuse really to indulge.

I had to use Gabriel Machin now that my preferred local butcher has retired, and came away with three plump little birds having exchanged £7 to the haughty counter-hand.

Following Slater's October 15th entry I simply smeared them with butter and crushed juniper berries and popped them in the oven to roast for thirty minutes or so. Served with honey-roasted parsnips, new potatoes and a few green beans they were delicious; and all the better for getting the fingers greasy by picking at the crevasses for the hidden morsels of meat.

I selected a red Burgundy to accompany. What I actually forgot to do was record a tasting note at the time - hey, I was hungry and the food looked sooo good! Needless to say the Cave de Pommard Beaune 1er Cru 'Les Aigrots', 1998, Burgundy, France was a superb match. A lusty wine, smoothed out superbly with the food. The bottle was a gift, so I have no idea how much it cost and I can't seem to find any details of the producer or wine online to assist, sadly.

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