Partridges on a plate scattered with watercress
A pair of partridges: Nigel Slater’s quick Christmas roast recipe. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer


The recipe

Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6. Wash 350g of Jerusalem artichokes, slice them in half lengthways then put them in a roasting tin. Cut 3 large banana shallots into quarters then add them to the artichokes. Tuck in 8 sprigs of thyme. Trickle with 3 or 4 tbsp of olive oil, then roast for 20 minutes.

Roll four long chipolatas in 4 rashers of bacon (I prefer smoked streaky) then tuck them among the vegetables. Place 2 partridges on top of the shallots and artichokes, spoon over a little oil then season generously with salt and a few more thyme sprigs. Return the roasting tin to the oven and continue cooking for 30 minutes or until the birds are toasted outside and pink within.

Remove the partridges, sausages and artichokes from the oven and transfer to a warm serving plate. Chop a small bunch of watercress. Finely grate a lemon, then mix with the watercress. Scatter over the roast birds and artichokes and serve. Enough for 2.

The trick

Harness the roasted flavours from the tin by making an impromptu gravy. Remove everything from the roasting tin, place over a high heat then pour in a glass of Madeira or Oloroso sherry. Scrape away at any roasted sediment on the tin with a wooden spoon and stir to dissolve into the wine. Season with salt then pour over the birds and vegetables. In the 7 or so minutes it takes to do this, the bird will have rested and be ready to eat.

The twist

You could use small potatoes instead of artichokes, cutting them in half as above, but cooking them for slightly longer before adding the partridges and sausages.

[Source:- the gurdian]

By Adam