Partridge with puffball and elderberries

Puffball mushrooms are a great versatile mushroom that you can serve on toast, simply diced up and pan-fried like ordinary mushrooms for a light lunch. They tend to vary massively in size, so you might have some left over for breakfast that you can slide a fried egg on to.

1 medium-sized puffball mushroom, weighing about 400-600g
A little vegetable or corn oil for brushing
4 oven-ready partridges
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A couple of good knobs of butter, softened
A handful of small salad leaves (optional)

For the dressing

2tbsp cider vinegar
2tsp Tewksbury or Dijon mustard
3tbsp rapeseed oil
2tbsp elderberries

Preheat the oven to 220/gas mark 7. Season the partridge and rub with the softened butter, then roast in the oven for 15 minutes; remove and leave to rest. Meanwhile, heat a ribbed griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan, brush the puffball with oil and season and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. Make the dressing by whisking the vinegar, mustard and rapeseed oil together and seasoning; then stir in the elderberries.

Lay the puffball on to warmed serving plates. Remove the legs from the partridge and cut away the breasts from the bone with a sharp knife. Cut the breasts in half and arrange on the puffball with the legs. Spoon the dressing around and scatter the leaves over if using.

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