Roast Partridge, Squash and Chestnuts with Red Cabbage

Make the most of the game season with Alex Mackay's fabulous recipe for roast partridge with a host of tempting accompaniments
By Alex Mackay
Roast Partridge, Squash and Chestnuts with Red Cabbage
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time:
  • Effort: medium


For the red cabbage

  • 1/2 red cabbage, thickly sliced
  • 1 large pear, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 100 g raisins
  • 3 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 200 ml port
  • 60 g butter
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the squash and chestnuts

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 12 cooked chestnuts
  • 50 g blanched almonds

For the partridges and sauce

  • 4 x 300 g partridges
  • 2 tsp plain flour
  • 250 ml port
  • 600 ml chicken stock
  • 120 ml blackcurrants, frozen, if fresh isnt available
  • 60 g butter
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped


1. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 2. Put the cabbage, pear, onion, raisins, vinegar, port and butter into a casserole dish. Season well and cover.

2. Bring to the boil, then transfer to the oven and cook for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, until the cabbage is soft. Stir at intervals and add a little water if it starts to dry out. Remove from the oven and cook over a medium heat until most of the liquid has evaporated; keep warm.

3. Turn the oven up to 200C/gas 6. Peel the squash, remove the seeds and cut into chunks. Put it into a roasting tray, season well and toss in the groundnut oil. Roast for 20 minutes.

4. Add the cooked chestnuts and blanched almonds. Mix together and roast for a further 10-15 minutes until golden.

5. While the squash is cooking, cook the partridges. Pour the oil into a frying pan and add the partridges. Cook for 2 minutes on each side.

6. Turn them onto their backs and transfer to the oven. Roast for 10-12 minutes.

7. Remove the birds from the oven, transfer to a warmed plate and cover loosely with foil. Leave to rest.

8. Add the flour to the pan and stir in well. Whisk in the port and simmer until reduced by three-quarters.

9. Pour in the chicken stock and boil for 2 minutes.

10. Stir in the blackcurrants, bring back to the boil and add the butter and rosemary; season to taste.

11. Carve the partridges and set aside.

12. Spoon the red cabbage in the centre of 4 warmed dinner plates and arrange the squash and chestnuts around. Serve the partridges on top of the cabbage and spoon over the sauce.

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