Pot-roast partridge with lentils and winter vegetables

Serves 4

This is a lovely, hearty family dish that you can just bang in the oven and leave to cook.

4 partridge
100ml/31/2fl oz white wine
500ml/17fl oz chicken or vegetable stock
Table salt, to season the bird
100g/31/2oz puy lentils, soaked in water for two hours

For the mirepoix (a type of seasoning base)

4 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cloves garlic, halved
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 star anise
8 white peppercorns
1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
1 carrot, peeled and quartered
For the winter vegetables
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into wedges
1 small swede, peeled and cut into wedges
2 carrots, peeled and cut into wedges
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 bunch parsley, chopped

Heat the vegetable oil (from the mirepoix ingredients) in a large casserole with a lid. Season the partridge all over then add to the hot oil and brown evenly. Remove and set aside.

Add the mirepoix ingredients to the same pan and brown. Add the white wine and reduce to a syrup then add stock and simmer. Strain and reserve. Heat the pan with another tablespoon of oil and brown the parsnip, swede and carrot with the salt.

Add the reserved stock, lentils and partridge and simmer for 15 minutes, lid on. Sprinkle with the parsley and serve.

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