Escabeche of Local Partridge by Sam Moody

Sam started his career as a chef at the age of 16, working part-time in a local hotel, whilst also studying Catering at Sussex College. Aged 17 he then started his first full time job, working in the kitchens of Ockenden Manor Hotel, when after a year’s hard work under the direction of Head Chef Steve Crane, the team won a Michelin star. Sam stayed at Ockenden Manor Hotel for further two and a half years, enjoying the experience of working in a Michelin star kitchen and learning what the expectations were in such an environment, and then at the age of 20 he decided it was time for a new challenge.

In early 2009 a new challenge arrived for Sam when Michael Caines MBE, Executive Head Chef at Gidleigh Park, also took over the kitchens at sister hotel The Bath Priory and appointed Sam as his Sous Chef. In September 2009, after proving himself to be of the highest standard, Sam was promoted to Head Chef. He says ‘this is truly the biggest and most rewarding challenge of my career thus far – food and cooking are my life’.


 Sam has created this stunning local Partridge dish for Taste of Game.

For the smoked bacon ask your butcher for smoked boneless and rind less belly pork. Prepare and cook a day or two ahead. For this recipe you will not need much smoked bacon, but it keeps well and will freeze perfectly, so it is worth cooking a big piece as your pot will allow and save it for another meal. The stock is also worth keeping for great soups, Pease pudding and sauces.


  • 6 partridgeTaste of Game Logo
  • 200 gram piece smoked bacon home-made, see below ingredients
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms shaved
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 baby leek
  • 9 turnips
  • 9 radish
  • 2 apples diced
  • Bitter leaf salad
  • 200 gram smoked belly pork smoked bacon
  • 1 leek split smoked bacon
  • 1 onion smoked bacon
  • 1 carrot smoked bacon
  • 1 stick celery smoked bacon
  • 1 head garlic split smoked bacon
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds smoked bacon
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns smoked bacon
  • 1 tsp cloves smoked bacon
  • 1 tbsp flour smoked bacon
  • 250 ml extra virgin olive oil escabeche
  • 75 ml Jerez, valdespino or olorosso (sherry) vinegar escabeche
  • 250 grams shallots finely sliced escabeche


  1. For the Escabeche: Sweat the shallots in the olive oil until lightly caramelised. Add the sherry vinegar, bring to a simmer and cook for 1-2 minutes, season and cool
  2. For the Smoked Bacon: Place all the ingredients into one pot, bring to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours or until soft. Remove pork and press between two trays for 12 hours in fridge.
  3. For the vegetables: Split the baby leek through the middle and blanch for 2 minutes. Shave the carrot on a mandolin and blanche for 30 seconds. Halve the radishes and turnips and blanche for 30 seconds Mix the diced apple with all the ingredients Thinly slice the mushroom and keep raw
  4. Heat a heavy based pan, with a little oil and place the partridge into the pan, legs down. Over a high heat start to cook place in an oven and roast for one minute. Then turn and cook for 4 minutes on the each leg Now add 50g butter, turn onto breast and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from pan and place on a tray. Pour over excess cooking fat and allow to rest for 15 minutes
  5. Take the smoked bacon and dice into 2cm cubes. Lightly flour and caramelise lightly on all sides
  6. Warm the escabeche to about 50 degrees c. Remove the legs and cut out thigh bone, remove breast from the bone. Drop the meat into the escabeche, add the vegetables and mix well, drain, and arrange on a plate, along with the smoked bacon. Lightly dress with the salad leaves.

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