Partridge Pot Roasted with Thyme, Hay and Cider

Mike Robinson's intriguing cooking method seals in all the fabulous flavours of this appetising main course
By Mike Robinson
Partridge Pot Roasted with Thyme, Hay and Cider
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 plump partridges
  • 2 handfuls clean hay
  • large bunch thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 300 ml cider
  • 200 g flour
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 100 ml water
  • olive oil


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

2. Insert a small sprig thyme into each partridge.

3. Heat a heavy pan and add a little olive oil. Add the partridges and brown on all sides. When each one has a good colour remove from the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Place the hay in the base of a casserole dish with a metal lid (I use copper pans but a casserole works just as well). Lay the bunch of thyme on top of the hay and nestle the garlic cloves in the middle. Place the partridges on top of the hay and pour in the cider.

5. Mix the flour with the salt and enough water to make a dough. Roll this out into a 60cm long 'sausage' and roll it around the rim of the pan. Stick the lid firmly on and you have a hermetically sealed pan that will retain all the steam, juices and flavour.

6. Cook in the oven for 20 minutes, then remove. Run the blade of a thin bladed knife around the rim and theatrically pull the lid off in front of your guests so they can see how clever you are, then return to the kitchen and serve the birds with anything you like (I would suggest cabbage, bacon and mash). Lastly tilt the pan and pour the juices over the top of the partridge.

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