Partridge with caramelised cauliflower puree

Michael Caines transforms the humble cauliflower into a rich and flavoursome puree, perfect with crisp roasted partridge and a wild mushroom fricassee
By Michael Caines
Partridge with caramelised cauliflower puree
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

For the partridge

  • 4 partridges, oven-ready and trussed
  • 1 bulbs garlic, cloves separated
  • 1 bunches thyme
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter

For the cauliflower pur'e

  • 2 large cauliflower
  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • white truffle oil
  • water

For the wild mushroom fricassee

  • 50 g unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 pinches salt
  • 160 g wild mushrooms
  • 1/2 lemon, juice only
  • 80 ml water
  • chopped tarragon
  • salt and black pepper

Method

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

2. For the partridge: stuff the partridges with an equal amount of garlic and thyme. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

3. Heat the oil in an ovenproof frying pan with the butter until foaming, then add the partridges and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until browned all over. Place into the oven and roast for 14-16 minutes, or until the partridges are cooked through and golden-brown all over.

4. Remove the partridges from the pan and leave to rest for 10 minutes before carving the legs and breast.

5. For the cauliflower purée: remove the green leaves from the cauliflower and cut into medium-sized florets.

6. Place the florets into a saucepan and cover with water, bring to the boil and cook for 10-12 minutes, or until tender. Strain through a colander, reserving the cooking water.

7. Place the cauliflower into a blender, reserving a few florets for garnish, and blend to a smooth purée.

8. Heat half of the butter in a pan until foaming, then add the cauliflower purée and cook, stirring frequently, for 6-8 minutes, or until beginning to caramelise and turn brown. Stir in the truffle oil and add a splash of the cauliflower cooking water to thin out the purée.

9. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan and fry the reserved florets for 6-8 minutes, or until golden-brown.

10. For the mushrooms, heat half of the butter in a stainless steel pan. Add the chopped shallots and slowly sweat with a pinch of salt for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

11. Add the wild mushrooms and the lemon juice, cover with a lid and sweat for one minute. Add the water, bring to a boil and whisk in the remaining butter. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir in the tarragon.

12. To serve, spoon some of the purée onto the centre of each serving plate, dragging outwards with a spoon to make a tear shape. Place the florets alongside. Arrange the partridge on the plate and spoon over and around the mushroom fricassee.

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