Partridge with parsnip tart, sprouts and chestnuts

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Paul Welburn's partridge recipe is a beautifully festive recipe for those after something a little more refined for Christmas dinner this year. Packed with festive cheer thanks to the charred sprouts and chestnuts, the chef serves sous-vide partridge breast and leg atop a parsnip purée tart.

First published in 2015






Partridge sauce


Parsnip purée filling

Charred sprouts


  • Vacuum bags
  • Bar sealer
  • Water bath
  • 8cm tart tins
  • Blender


To begin, prepare the partridges. Remove the legs and breasts from the bird, keeping the wing bones attached. Reserve the rest of the bones for the sauce
Mix together the brine ingredients until the salt and sugar have dissolved and submerge the partridge in the brine for 40 minutes. After this time, remove and wash in cold water
Preheat a water bath to 85°C
Add the legs to a vacuum bag, seal with a bar sealer and cook in the water bath for 2 hours
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
To make the sauce, chop up the reserved bones and roast in the oven until golden brown
Caramelise the bacon lardons in a hot pan, then remove the bacon but leave the fat. Add the shallots, spices and herbs and caramelise in the bacon fat
Deglaze the pan with vinegar, reduce and add the wine. Reduce by half then add the bones and cover with chicken stock. Simmer for 30 minutes, then pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and reduce to sauce consistency
  • 50ml of sherry vinegar
  • 250ml of red wine
  • 1l dark chicken stock
To make the pastry for the tart, mix together the flour, butter, salt and pepper until they reach breadcrumb stage. Mix in the water to form a dough, adding a little more if necessary. Allow to rest in the fridge for at least 1 hour
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Roll out the pastry and use to line individual tart cases. Line with baking paper and baking beans, blind bake for 12 minutes then remove the beans and return to oven for a further 5 minutes, or until golden. Remove and trim away any excess pastry
Remove the partridge legs from the water bath and reduce the heat to 64°C
Add the breasts to a vacuum bag and seal with a bar sealer. Cook in the water bath for 20 minutes, then remove and trim the meat away from the wing bone to neaten
Remove the legs from the bag and carefully remove the thigh bone. Trim to neaten the legs and set aside until ready to serve
To make the parsnip purée, add a large knob of butter to a pan and add the chopped parsnip. Sweat for 5 minutes, cover with the milk and cream and allow to simmer for 10–15 minutes, or until the parsnip is soft
Add the parsnip to a blender and blend, adding the cooking liquid to adjust the consistency. Season to taste and use to half-fill the tart cases. Keep warm
Add butter to 2 separate pans and heat until foaming. Add the thyme, bay leaf and breasts to one pan and the legs to another, basting in the hot butter until golden and caramelised. Allow to rest before serving
For the charred sprouts, heat a frying pan over a medium heat and colour the sprouts cut-side down. Add the chestnuts and butter and deglaze with the chicken stock. Add the sprout tops to wilt and season with salt
  • 6 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 3 chestnuts, roasted
  • butter
  • 3 tsp chicken stock
  • 50g of sprout tops
To serve, swipe the remaining parsnip purée down the centre of the plate and place a tart to one side. Place a partridge breast and leg in each tart, arrange the sprouts around and finish with the sauce
First published in 2015

Paul Welburn has years of Michelin-star cooking behind him, holding a star for five years at restaurant W1.

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