Today's Sunday lunch was somewhat impulsive. As I stood in the butchers waiting for my braising steak to be diced yesterday, I asked if they had any partridge. I wasn't really expecting a yes, but being shooting season I thought there might just be a possibility. It turns out they had four breasts in the freezer. Not a whole heap of meat, but I decided to have a shot (no pun intended) at eking it out into a one-pot casserole.

With just over half a bottle of cider left over in the fridge from making mince meat for mince pies, I used this along with some parsnips, frozen cranberries and orange peel to create a festive one-pot to lift what was otherwise a dreich Sunday.

Ingredients

15g butter
4 partridge breasts, diced  
1 tbsp flour
1 large onion, finely chopped
300ml cider
2 parsnips, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
300ml chicken stock
60g cranberries (I used frozen)
Small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
zest of 1/2 orange
salt and pepper

Method

Heat the oven to 160 degrees (140 degrees fan).

Dredge the partridge meat in seasoned flour.  Melt the butter in a casserole and brown the meat quickly. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Salt and then soften the onions in the pan for 10 minutes or until golden and then add the cider and cook for a minute or so. Add the stock, meat, vegetables, cranberries, thyme and orange zest to the pan and season well.

Bring to a simmer, cover and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

Serve with mash potato, rice or a generous serving of your favourite green vegetables.