Pot-roasted breast of partridge with truffle sauce and celeriac
For the truffled Madeira sauce
— 55g salted butter — 50g shallots, chopped — 50g mushrooms, sliced — 400ml Malmsey Madeira — 3 white peppercorns — ½ bay leaf — 1 thyme sprig — 500ml good-quality veal
jus (available to buy online) — 20g fresh black truffle,
finely chopped — 50ml ruby port
For the celeriac
— 1 celeriac, about 500g,
scrubbed — 200g goat’s butter
For the partridge
— 200g salted butter — 4 oven-ready partridges
(gutted and tied)
For the vegetables
— 150g kale leaves — 25ml vegetable oil — 8g (about 1 tbsp) pine nuts — 200g salsify, peeled and
cut into 9cm batons — 50g goat’s butter
To serve (optional)
— 8 Chantenay carrots, peeled and cooked in a butter and water emulsion for 8 minutes — 1 golden and 1 purple beetroot, peeled, baked in foil with salted butter and thyme, then cut into eighths To start the Madeira sauce, heat a medium saucepan over a medium heat. Add 30g of the butter, then the shallots and mushrooms. Sweat until the mushrooms have released their liquid and the shallots are softened and starting to lightly colour, about five minutes. Add 350ml of the Madeira, along with the peppercorns, bay leaf and thyme, and bring to the boil. Reduce by half over a medium-low heat, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the veal jus and simmer for 40 minutes, or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon (when you run a finger along the back of the sauced spoon, exposing the metal, the sauce should not re-cover the trail). Check and adjust the seasoning to taste. Pass through a finemesh sieve and keep warm until ready to use.
Now cook the celeriac. This large orb will need a good 30 minutes to cook to the texture and taste we want. Place the celeriac in a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add the goat’s butter. Heat until the butter is foaming, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and reduce the heat. Turn occasionally to ensure even colouring. Test for doneness with a knife, as you would potatoes. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 220C/ gas mark 7.
Next, continue the truffled sauce. Over a medium-low heat, sweat the truffle in the remaining 25g butter for four minutes. Add the port and the remaining 50ml of Madeira. Slowly reduce by half, about 10 minutes.
Combine the truffle sauce with 120ml of the warm Madeira sauce you made earlier (the remaining Madeira sauce will keep in the refrigerator for five days in a sealed container), and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 20 minutes, skimming occasionally. Season to taste, then remove from the heat.
To cook the partridges, foam the butter over a medium-high heat in a heavy-based frying pan. Add the partridges and baste the birds generously. Season with salt. Transfer to the oven and roast for about 6-8 minutes, until the birds appear golden-brown.
While the birds are cooking, sauté the kale very quickly in a pan with a little vegetable oil. Add the pine nuts. In a separate pan, caramelise the salsify in the goat’s butter until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.
Remove the birds from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes. While the birds are resting, check the temperature of your vegetables and sauce and reheat as needed. Cut the celeriac into wedges.
To serve, remove the partridge breasts from the bone and carefully remove the skin. Place some kale in the centre of each plate together with two batons of salsify, plus two carrots and two wedges each of purple and golden beetroot, if using, and two wedges of celeriac. Arrange the partridge breasts on top and finish with about two dessert spoonfuls of the truffled Madeira sauce.