In­gre­di­ents

Country Life Every Week - - Simon’s Kitchen -

25g but­ter 2 thick slices of streaky ba­con,

cut into strips 2 par­tridges 2 cloves gar­lic, crushed A gen­er­ous splash of Madeira

(or a medium sherry) A splash of white wine A sprig or two of thyme 1 small hispi cab­bage, di­vested of tough outer leaves, then cored, quar­tered and thinly sliced

Method

Heat the but­ter in a large, cast-iron pot (a lid­ded Le Creuset one is per­fect, here) and add the ba­con. Al­low the pieces to gen­tly siz­zle away un­til a gen­er­ous amount of fat has ex­uded from them, lift out and set aside. Sea­son the par­tridges with salt and pep­per, place them in the pot un­til golden and crusted with colour on all sides.

Now, tip in the gar­lic and let it siz­zle for a mo­ment or two, be­fore ad­ding the Madeira (or sherry) and white wine. Us­ing a wooden spoon, scrape up all the re­main­ing crusted bits and pop in the thyme. Bring to a sim­mer, add the cab­bage and rein­tro­duce the re­served ba­con.

Sim­mer un­til the cab­bage be­gins to wilt and lose its stiff­ness, then push it to the sides of the pot to make room for the par­tridges. Cover to gen­tly stew for about 10 min­utes—but no more—switch off the heat and leave to rest, still cov­ered, for a fur­ther 5 min­utes. Serve di­rectly from the pot, at ta­ble. bird is more ten­der than a cock and, usu­ally, I am in agree­ment. How­ever, on this par­tic­u­lar oc­ca­sion, I used a cock pheas­ant as it was a beauty at the butcher; nicely fat­ted and, pos­si­bly as a re­sult, as ten­der and tasty as any lit­tle hen.

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