If you have a partridge on your hands and you want it to go a bit further than a one-pot, try making a risotto of rievaulx partridges with mushrooms.


Risotto of Rievaulx Partridges with Mushrooms is a great recipe to use if you want to impress your guests. Locally shot partridges and penny bun mushrooms (often called ceps) make a beautiful combination. These have a similar texture to the partridge and are quite meaty. What’s more, when you know where to look, they are free. The vibrant spinach gives a Popeye-style feel-good factor and the crisp cheese wafer is ideal for dunking into the creamy risotto. This risotto is one of the 10 best partridge recipes.


Serves 4

■ 2 partridge breasts, skin off, in 1cm dice
■ Rapeseed oil for frying
■ 1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
■ 300g (101⁄2oz) arborio risotto rice
■ 600ml (1 pint) good game stock
■ Splash fino sherry
■ 50g (2oz) penny bun (cep) mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
■ 100g (31⁄2oz) Doddington’s cheese, grated
■ Seasoning
■ 100g (31⁄2oz) matador spinach, roughly chopped
■ 50ml (31⁄2 tbsp) whipping cream
■ 50g (2oz) unsalted butter or the wafers
■ 100g (31⁄2oz) Doddington’s cheese, grated
■ Pinch thyme, chopped
To serve
■ 5ml (11⁄2 tsp) white truffle oil

To ensure that the flavours work well in your risotto of rievaulx partridges with mushrooms dish, it is important to fry the partridge first. In a heavy-bottomed pan, shallow-fry the partridge dice in a little oil to colour lightly for two or three minutes, add the shallot and sweat it without colouring. Add the rice, stir briefly again and add four-fifths of the game stock. Cook, stirring regularly so that it doesn’t stick, for about another 10 to 12 minutes or until most of the stock has evaporated and the rice is nearly cooked.

Meanwhile, make the cheese and thyme wafers. Mix the grated cheese with the chopped thyme. Place four 8cm (3in) pastry rings on a baking sheet covered with greaseproof paper. Sprinkle the mixture into the centre of the pastry rings, then bake in a medium to hot oven for three to four minutes. Alternatively, you can grill them until golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool and become crisp.

Back to the risotto. Add a splash of sherry, the mushrooms, and the cheese to the saucepan. Check the consistency and seasoning; the rice should be al dente (firm to the bite). Stir in the spinach, cream and butter. Check the temperature and seasoning. Serve immediately.
To serve, spoon the risotto into warm bowls, drizzle with a little white truffle oil and place a cheese and thyme wafer on top and enjoy your risotto of rievaulx partridges with mushrooms.