Partridge is not a strong-flavoured meat, so if you’re relatively new to game, this is the one to try. I wrapped the whole bird in bacon, covered in tinfoil and roasted for about 25 minutes in an air fryer, but you can use a conventional oven, especially if you’re cooking roast spuds to go with it. Remove the tinfoil and give it another five minutes to crisp the bacon. 

Whilst the partridge was cooking, I threw together a side dish of pears and shallots – yes, I know it sounds weird, but give it a try – it works really well.  

Dice the pears and place in a bowl of water and a squeeze of lemon juice to prevent them from browning. Fry a handful of chopped shallots for a few minutes until they’re soft, then add the pears with a star anise and some salt. Simmer very gently for about five minutes, remove the star anise and serve with your partridge. I opted for creamed potatoes, spring greens and a ‘jus’ – or thick gravy, if you’re old school – as accompaniments, but you can vary the veggies to your taste. 


One partridge per person 
Bacon rashers  
Two pears, a few shallots and a star anise  
Salt and pepper to taste  
Seasonal vegetables 


Wrap bacon around the partridge, secure with a cocktail stick, cover in tinfoil and roast for about 30 minutes at 180ºC, Gas Mark 4 – 20 minutes in an air fryer.  

Remove the foil and give it another ten minutes in the oven, or five in the air fryer, to get the bacon crisp.  

Meanwhile, gently fry cubed pears, a couple of shallots and one star anise in a little oil for a few minutes, until the shallots are tender.  

Make some ‘instant’ gravy, or use the juices from the partridge and chicken stock, if you’re not as lazy as me. 

Serve with vegetables of your choice.