Pan Fried Cider Partridge

Main courseServes 4

Partridge is a good introduction to game as it’s delicate flavour is less ‘gamey’ than other moorland birds, however this recipe would work equally well with pheasant. Use one partridge per person for a good Yorkshire portion, or one pheasant between two for a delicious seasonal supper. Thanks to Sue Nelson of Yorkshire Food Finder for this recipe.


1 partridge per person

A good few glugs of Yorkshire cider – we used Orchards of Husthwaite

Bunch of thyme

Couple of garlic cloves, crushed with the back of a knife.

2 shallots, peeled and halved

Enough duck fat to cover partridge legs

100g spinach per person

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 tbsp pine nuts

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

Glug of sherry vinegar

2 new potatoes per person, thinly sliced, par-boiled and patted dry

Yorkshire Rapeseed Oil



A sprinkling of plain flour

A dash of cream – we used Longley Farm


  1. Remove each breast and the legs from the partridge. Set aside the carcass to make game stock later.
  2. Melt the duck fat in a small casserole dish, add 3-4 sprigs of thyme, one of the garlic cloves and one of the halved shallots. Season the partridge legs and lower gently into the melted duck fat, making sure there’s enough to cover. Place the lid on top and cook slowly in a low oven for about an hour or so until the leg meat is tender. Remove from the oven and allow the fat to cool.
  3. Meanwhile season the breast and marinade in the cider for at least an hour, along with the other crushed garlic clove, shallot, and sprigs of thyme.
  4. For the spinach, heat a saute pan over a medium heat, add butter and cook the onion and garlic until soft and caramelised. Add the pine nuts and continue to cook until golden. Add the sherry vinegar and reduce until evaporated. Remove from the heat, add the spinach, cover with a lid and remove from the heat. The steam in pan will allow the spinach to wilt. Season just before serving.
  5. For the potatoes, heat a frying pan on a high heat, add the rapeseed oil and cook the sliced potato until golden and crisp.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, pan fry the partridge legs in butter, skin side down. Add the breasts and cook on both sides until brown and cooked through. Remove the breasts and legs from the pan and set aside to rest. Turn up the heat, add the cider marinade and bring to the boil. Shake in the flour, stirring all the time and cook until the sauce is thickened. Add the cream at the end just before serving.
  7. To serve, arrange a pile of the spinach, onion and pine nuts on a plate. Rest the legs and breast against the spinach to create height. You can slice the breast or leave it whole. Stack the potato slices next to the partridge and drizzle some of the cider sauce around.