Try this recipe for roast partridge with pears, then check out our roast partridge with boulangère, pheasant with puy lentils and pheasant ragu.


  • 200g pearl barley
  • 50ml rapeseed oil
  • 2 Williams pears, halved, cored and cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 partridges, oven-ready (see notes below)
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed but left whole
  • 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • a small bunch flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced


  • STEP 1

    Cook the pearl barley in a large pan of boiling salted water for 25-30 minutes or until tender, then drain really well.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and cook the pear wedges for a few minutes until caramelised. Scoop out into an ovenproof dish and sprinkle over the ground cinnamon. Brown the partridges in a drizzle more oil in the same pan until really golden all over. Put the partridges on top of the pears, drizzle over a little more oil, season and put in the oven for 20 minutes or until the juices run clear from the partridges when poked in the thickest parts. Rest for 6-7 minutes.

  • STEP 3

    To make the salad, gently fry the diced vegetables, garlic and bacon with the bay leaf and thyme in 2 tsp of the rapeseed oil until the vegetables and bacon are golden, then add the cooked barley, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and the remaining oil, stirring to combine. Season really well.

  • STEP 4

    Cut each bird in half, or carve the breasts and legs, and serve on top of the warm salad with the cinnamon pears.

The partridge shooting season runs from 1st September to 1st February, and the pheasant season from 1st October to 1st February. Venison, rabbit and wild boar are available all year round. Game can be pre-ordered from good butchers or available online from ‘Oven ready’ means that the game has been plucked and gutted.

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