Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Roasted partridge with fondant potatoes, blackberry sauce, wilted kale and red-cabbage purée

Prep time less than 30 mins
Cook time less than 30 mins
Serves 2
From Christmas Kitchen with James Martin
James Martin’s delicious autumnal feast will give your traditional Sunday roast a run for its money.


  1. For the red-cabbage purée, heat the butter in a large, lidded saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the red cabbage and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until just softened.

  2. Add the wine and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until its volume has reduced by half.

  3. Add the remaining red-cabbage purée ingredients and return the mixture to a simmer, stirring well. Cover the pan with the lid and continue to simmer for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the red cabbage is tender.

  4. Remove the lid from the pan, increase the heat to high and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and the cabbage is slightly sticky and glossy. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and reheat before serving.

  5. For the fondant potatoes, preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/Gas 4.

  6. Cut cylinders from each potato half using a 3cm/1¼in cookie cutter. Trim the ends flat.

  7. Heat the oil in a deep, heavy-based, ovenproof saucepan over a medium heat. Stand the potato cylinders on end in the oil and fry gently until crisp and golden-brown at the base.

  8. Pour in the chicken stock and bring it to the boil. Add the garlic, thyme and butter, then transfer the pan to the for 20-30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender.

  9. Meanwhile, for the roasted partridge, heat the oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the partridges on all sides for 3-4 minutes, until browned all over.

  10. Transfer the pan to the oven with the potatoes, and roast for 12-15 minutes. Baste with the fat a couple of times during cooking. They are cooked when the juices run clear when the partridges are pierced in the thickest part of each thigh using a skewer. Set the partridges aside to rest in the pan while the potatoes finish cooking.

  11. For the blackberry sauce, heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter is foaming, add the shallot, garlic and thyme and fry for 2 minutes until softened.

  12. Add the remaining blackberry sauce ingredients, apart from the blackberries, and cook, stirring well, for 5-8 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

  13. For the wilted kale, heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the kale leaves and 2 tablespoons of water and stir-fry until wilted.

  14. Just before serving, strain the blackberry sauce through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan. Stir in the remaining butter and the blackberries.

  15. To serve, spoon half of the red-cabbage purée into the centre of each serving plate. Top with one of the roast partridges. Serve the fondant potatoes alongside, with a dab of the blackberry sauce. Serve the remaining blackberry sauce in dipping bowls alongside.


For the red-cabbage purée

  • 75g/2¾oz butter
  • 600g/1lb 6oz red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 280ml/½ pint red wine
  • 50g/1¾oz soft brown sugar
  • 2 star anise
  • ½ cinnamon stick
  • 5 tbsp redcurrant jelly
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the fondant potatoes

  • 4 large floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, cut in half widthways
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 300ml/10½fl oz chicken stock
  • 1 garlic clove, left whole
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 50g/1¾oz butter

For the roasted partridge

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 whole partridges

For the blackberry sauce

  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
  • 2 dried juniper berries, crushed
  • ½ fresh bay leaf
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 100ml/3½fl oz ruby port
  • 150ml/5fl oz chicken stock
  • 150g/5oz fresh blackberries

For the wilted kale

  • 50g/1¾oz unsalted butter
  • 1 head kale, leaves removed and roughly chopped

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