When we decided to make this an autumn-food edition, I haven’t realised that I am not sure what autumn food is. And despite the world being ‘in love’ with pumpkin this season – and by this I mean Pumpkin spice latte – I feel like the only thing that deserves to be mentioned is the pumpkin pie. But let’s face it, no one has time to make an absolutely delicious pumpkin pie. So, after some brainstorming, I decided that the only other food thing related to autumn that is worth mentioning, is game.

Yes, you’ve heard me right! Probably most people are not even aware that autumn is game’s season, but I think you might want to give a try to something different. I know you haven’t been in Uni for long enough to mind eating the same microwaved food. But you will at some point and then you will want something for a change. So, better save this page for some inspiration. I imagine that living in London provides us with anything we want, even if it’s out of season, if we try hard enough to find it, but, as students, we’d prefer spending less – which you can totally do if you go for game during its season and you should give partridge a chance. Now, when going shopping keep in mind that in the UK you can find both grey partridge and red-legged partridge. For the following recipe, I recommend using the first one.

Keep in mind that the partridge is a small bird and one will feed only one person, but because I know you will actually have a dinner with friends (there’s no other better reason to serve a fancy dinner), I’ll go with the ingredients amounts for 4 people – for any other number of guests, you can do the maths yourself, after all you are an Imperial student.

  • 4 partridges
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 100 ml Cognac
  • 100 ml chicken stock
  • 4 shallots
  • 20 gr Juniper berries
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • thyme to taste
  • lemon juice
  • 200 gr baby carrots or chopped carrots – keep in mind that if you go for the normal carrots, you’ll need to cook them more
  • 200g peas – preferably not the frozen kind
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • thyme to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C and salt and pepper the birds to taste.
  2. In a pan, heat the oil and then gently fry the partridges. Remember to turn them from one side to another from time to time. After 5 minutes, add the butter and continue frying them until browned. Move them in a roasting pan/ a tray.
  3. In the frying pan, ass the cognac and stir gently. Now, you should make sure that it mixes with the grease and butter – that means that you shouldn’t have burnt it. If, however, you did, you can gently scratch the pan. Add the stock and heat on medium power until it’s reduced by half. Pour the sauce over the partridges.
  4. In the same pan, on low heat, saute the shallots, berries and the garlic for no more than 5 minutes. Add the thyme and then add in the roasting pan. On top, add the lemon juice – try not to pour too much, ok? Roast for 10-15 minutes, until the meat is easy to pierce with a fork. After that, you can take it out, unless you want it to be roasted a bit more – be carefull, however! It can get too dry and you don’t want that.
  5. For the side dish, boil the carrots and the peas for about 2-3 minutes in slightly salted water then drain. In a frying pan (don’t use the one you used for the meat prep, unless you cleaned it), heat the butter and then saute the veggies. Add the honey and the thyme and fry for another 5-7 minutes or until golden. Season and add couple spoons of water. Cover, reduce the heat to low and cook for a few minutes until everything is nice and tender.
  6. Now you are done! You should finish it in no more than one and a half hours so, if you think about it, it’s a nice easy quick recipe, isn’t it? Don’t forget to serve the juices from the roasting pan!