Nick Nairn’s Christmas Roast Partridge, Prosciutto Crudo and Port Gravy with Root Veg

Roast Partridge, Prosciutto Crudo and Port Gravy with Root Veg
Serves 4
4 Partridge (520g) – 1 bird per person
12 slices of Prosciutto Crudo
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper

For the veg
750g mix of parsnip, swede and carrots
1kg Red Rooster potatoes, for roasties
1tbsp plain flour
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
Salt and black pepper
50ml extra virgin olive oil
50ml sunflower oil

For the gravy
240ml Ruby Port
1 shallot, finely chopped
450ml chicken stock (use a stock cube)
50g unsalted butter

Make sure the partridges are fully defrosted and pat them dry before cooking. Slice through the joints to the thighs to open out the birds a bit and quicken up the roasting time. Place the birds in a roasting dish (you may need 2), brush with oil and cover the breasts with thin slices of Prosciutto Crudo. Cook at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for approx. 30 minutes.
Remove the birds and place in a warm place, covered, to rest for approx.15 minutes.
Meanwhile, place the shallot in a small pan and heat with the port over a medium heat and reduce down to almost a glaze. Add the chicken stock and reduce again. Finally, add a little butter to give the sauce a lovely gloss.
Put the vegetables into a roasting dish and drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and a few garlic cloves, bruised but not peeled. Place in a preheated oven at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 for approx. 40 minutes but check how they’re doing halfway through. For the roast tatties, peel and chop your Red Roosters into 5cm (2-inch) squares, boil for approx. 10 minutes in salted water then drain well. Shake in the colander to roughen up the edges and season with pepper. Heat the sunflower oil in a roasting tray in the 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 oven and, when hot, tip your potatoes in and stir around. Check them after 20 minutes and stir again. Cook for approx. 20 minutes more.
Once the birds have rested, serve everything up on hot plates, with hot port gravy poured over the meat and enjoy.

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