Roast teal with quince sauce

Serves 4
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Teal is one of my favourite game birds; it has the flavour of a wild duck and the delicacy of a snipe or woodcock. Although teal are small, they make a perfect light main course. I've served them here with a heritage variety of beetroot, boiled until tender and then roasted with the teal. If you can't find quince, use a bramley apple sauce.

4 oven-ready teal
2 quince, peeled and cored
3tbsp caster sugar
2 cloves
A small piece of cinnamon stick
A couple of good knobs of butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the quince into even-sized chunks and place in a saucepan with the caster sugar, cloves and cinnamon. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer gently with a lid on for about 45 minutes to an hour or until tender.

Drain, remove the cloves and cinnamon and coarsely mash by hand or in a food processor. Pre-heat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7. Season the teal inside and out, rub with the softened butter; place in a a roasting tin. Cook for about 10-15 minutes, keeping them nice and pink and basting every so often. Serve with the quince on the plate or on the side.

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