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Partridge pie

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Adjust Servings:
500g partridge breasts, cut into chunks
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp olive oil
2 rashers smoked bacon, diced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 white onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
1 sprig fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves finely chopped
Pinch of nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp celery salt
3 dried bay leaves
1/2 orange, zested
250ml stock, made with 1 chicken or Kallo yeast-free stock cube
150ml white grape, pear and apple juice (reduced sugar)
1 tsp cornflour
Plain flour, for dusting
250g light puff pastry
1 medium free-range egg, beaten

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Partridge pie

Celebrate the flavours of Christmas with this comforting pie, made using iron-rich partridge breasts and light puff pastry. The real star is the sauce which contains no alcohol or cream and is delicately flavoured with winter spices, grape juice and orange zest. It also pairs perfectly with duck or other game meats.

    • 60+ Mins
    • Serves 4
    • Easy



    1. Coat the partridge chunks in the plain flour and season well. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the partridge chunks, in batches, for 1-2 minutes until lightly coloured all over. Remove and set aside.

    2. Add the bacon to the pan and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes until crisp and the fat has rendered out. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside with the partridge.

    3. Add the carrots and onion to the pan and sauté gently in the residual oil for 10-15 minutes until softened and starting to colour, adding a splash of water if it starts to catch.

    4. Stir in the garlic, rosemary and thyme and cook for 1 minute more. Add the partridge back to the pan with the bacon, nutmeg, ground cloves, celery salt, bay leaves and orange zest. Stir to combine, then pour in the stock and the white grape, pear and apple juice.

    5. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly.

    6. In a bowl, combine the cornflour with a splash of water and stir into the sauce (you may need to use more or less cornflour depending on how thick you want the sauce).

    7. Once you are happy with the consistency of the mixture, remove the pan from the heat and discard the bay leaves. Season to taste, then transfer the mixture into a 23cm round pie dish, reserving half the sauce for later.

    8. On a floured surface, roll the puff pastry out so it is large enough to cover the pie dish with a slight overlap. Trim off any excess pastry, and reserve for later.

    9. Lift the pastry over the pie filling, and tuck the edges under to create a slight ripple effect, which will help to create those crispy bits.

    10. Using the pastry trimmings, decorate the top using cookie cutters and brush all over with the beaten egg. Bake in a preheated oven at 200C for 35-40 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden brown.

    11. Reheat the sauce on the hob, adding a touch of water to loosen, and serve alongside the pie and seasonal vegetables.

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