Roasted partridge with savoy cabbage, chateau potatoes and chocolate sauce

Chocolate is the surprise ingredient in David Massey's luxurious recipe for roast partridge with trimmings and a rich wine sauce
By David Massey
Roasted partridge with savoy cabbage, chateau potatoes and chocolate sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 Maris Piper potatoes, peeled, cut into 8 pieces and peeled into oval shapes
  • 4 oven-ready partridges
  • 8 rashers of rashers of streaky bacon
  • 280 g unsalted butter
  • 8 tbsp olive oil
  • 160 g pancetta, cut into strips
  • 360 g Savoy cabbage, very finely shredded
  • 8 tbsp white wine
  • chervil, to garnish

For the chocolate sauce:

  • 600 ml red wine
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 tsp sherry vinegar
  • 800 ml veal stock
  • 400 g dark chocolate, (60% cocoa content), broken into pieces


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6.

2. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add in the potatoes and blanch for 3 minutes in the boiling water; strain and set aside.

3. Meanwhile, to make the chocolate sauce, bring the wine to the boil in a pan and cook briskly until reduced by half.

4. Heat the olive oil in another saucepan. Add in the shallots and fry gently until softened. Add in the cinnamon, cloves and thyme and fry, stirring, for 1 minute.

5. Add in the vinegar, veal stock and reduced wine. Bring to the boil and reduce by half again. Strain and set aside in a saucepan.

6. Truss the partridge with the bacon and season well with salt and freshly ground pepper.

7. Heat 100g of the butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan. Add in the partridges, breast side down, and fry for a few minutes until browned.

8. Transfer the partridges in their pan to the oven and roast for 8 minutes. Discard the bacon and baste the partridges, then cook for a further 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and rest.

9. Meanwhile, heat 100g of the butter and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a roasting tray in the oven until hot. Add in the blanched potatoes, tossing to coat with the fat, and roast, turning regularly, until cooked through and golden brown.

10. Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a saucepan. Add in the cabbage, mixing well, and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add in the white wine, cook for a few more minutes until the cabbage is just tender and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Drain and keep warm.

11. Reheat the wine sauce slightly and stir in the chocolate until melted.

12. Carefully carve the breasts and legs from the partridges. Place the drained Savoy cabbage on four serving plates and arrange the partridge portions onto the cabbage. Place the roast potatoes neatly on the plate.

13. Spoon over the chocolate sauce, garnish with chervil and serve.

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