Partridge are now in season and you can buy them oven-ready for £3.25 each. They are shot at the neighbouring estate of Watergate as well as other Hampshire estates having had a thoroughly wild life along the local hedgerows and woods.
They are delicious, with a mild flavour, tender and succulent and are simple to cook. To roast, place the partridge on a piece of bread in a baking tray, cover with some streaky bacon and seasoning and put into the oven at 220C for 12-15 minutes. They are cooked when the juice runs clear.
Grilled Partridge Recipe (serves 4):
2 tbsps cumin seeds
Grated zest 1 lemon
75g (3oz) butter, softened
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
Ask Gavin to cut them in half and flatten the legs,
Toast the cumin seeds in a dry pan for a few seconds until they release their aroma. Transfer to a pestle and mortar and grind coarsely, then mix into the softened butter with the lemon zest.
Rub the partridge all over with the butter and season with salt and pepper. Cook under a hot grill being careful not to let them burn, and turn them several times, brushing with more butter. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and the skin is crisp.
Serve with some roasted cherry tomatoes and baby carrots – with couscous.