Partridge Saag - Are you Game for Game?

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Game is often perceived as 'restaurant food', let's be honest who cooks partridge, venison, grouse, pigeon on a regular basis?. As a result, since the first lockdown, game consumption has declined by 80%. It shouldn't be that way, as there is a very strong case for eating game. 

Why should we eat for game? Sustainability. Ethically minded chefs and environmentalists have long been making the case for us to eat wild birds. Take partridge, smaller than pheasant, bigger than quails, these plumpy birds spend their lives in the wild. it's a healthy meat, high in vitamins B and a good source of potassium, with no nasty additives. 

wild bird recipe

What does it taste like? One of the arguments against eating game is tastes...gamy. That's very true, however if the meat is preserved well, the gamy taste should not be strong. Partridges don't taste as strong as pheasants, therefore recommended if you are starting your journey into the world of game-recipes

How to cook partridges? Few of us grew up in a family of game-hunters so cooking an unknown meat can be a challenge. First thing to know: partridge meat dries up very quickly. In fact from experience, the last couple of times, I ordered partridge in a restaurant, it was either as dry as an old shoe, or there was so very little meat that I was unable to appreciate the taste.

What to buy & Where to source it? Wild & Game is a Bristolian company that I have been following since their beginnings in 2017. They are very committed to the quality of their products. Most good butchers supply fresh partridge in season, otherwise it will be in their freezers. Make sure the bird is native to the UK and not an imported, ask for Grey Partridge also known as English Partridge, only because of their carbon footprint.

Recipe? Since you asked and bearing in mind that partridge breast fillets are better with a sauce, so they don't dry too much. Here is an unusual, tasty recipe that demonstrates how versatile and easy to cook partridge is.

Patridge recipe

Partridge Saag
8 partridge filets dices
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1.5 tbsp garam masala
1.2 tsp chilli powder
1 tin chopped tomatoes
200g frozen spinach
1 large potato, diced
1 medium onion, sliced
2 tsp mince garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
Vegetable oil
200ml water

  • 10 minutes before making this dish, sprinkle the partridge with the bicarbonate of soda and leave for 10 minutes to tenderise, then wash and pat dry.
  • Heat a couple of glugs of oil and fry the partridge for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  • Add a bit more oil and cook the onion until soft.
  • Add garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the gram masala and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the potatoes, tomatoes and 250 ml water, place the lid on the pan and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Add the spinach and cook for a further 10 minutes with the lid on.
  • Add the meat and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Once the potato is soft and the meat cooked through, serve with rice.
Disclaimer: Wild and Game launched a delivery box scheme either on a one off basis or a subscription, on this occasion I received their February box to review. Words are my own and I certainly was not told what to write. 

More Recipes:
Want to try Venison here is an excellent recipe that elevates the simple meatballs to the next level.



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