roast partridge with pumpkin, pancetta and px

our pomegranate and parma ham salad was followed by roasted partridges with pumpkin, chorizo and pancetta. i used a nigel slater recipe from a recent edition of observer food monthly, making a few adaptations along the way.

sadly i can’t tell you anything about how delicious this was – which apparently it was – as i had food poisoning from the night before and eating that light salad starter was as far as i got.

i did get to use the leftover roasted pumpkin, chorizo and pancetta in a risotto though, which was very delish.

nigel slater’s roast partridge with pumpkin (serves 4)

a small pumpkin or large butternut squash

3 tablespoons groundnut or sunflower oil (i used olive oil)

6 rashers streaky bacon (i used pancetta cubes plus a couple of chorizo sausages, cubed)

4 plump partridges

a little butter

3 sage leaves

100ml dry marsala (i used pedro ximenez as we had an open bottle)

set the oven at 200˚c.

peel, core and thickly slice the pumpkin or squash. put it into a roasting tin with a little oil and butter, season with salt and black pepper, and bake for 25 minutes or until the slices of pumpkin are just starting to soften. chop the bacon (and chorizo) into short pieces and add to the pumpkin.

rub the birds all over with a little butter. season them thoroughly with salt and black pepper. pop a sage leaf into each body cavity. place the birds on top of the pumpkin, pour over the marsala (or px) and leave to roast for 30 minutes, or until the partridges are golden. their flesh should be moist and a little rare. serve the partridges with some of the pumpkin and bacon and any of the juices from the pan.