Le Gruyère Stuffed Partridge Ballotine with Caramelised Pears

Le Gruyère Stuffed Partridge Ballotine with Caramelised Pears by Cindy Challoner, Great British Menu Contestant

A stunning Le Gruyère stuffed Lincolnshire Game partridge ballontine with caramelised pears by Great British Menu contestant Cindy Challoner.


Serves 2

  • 2 partridges (boned but with the skin left intact)
  • 250g of butter (room temperature)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 50g of parsley, leaves picked
  • 50g Le Gruyère
  • 50g of thyme, leaves picked
  • Rapeseed oil

Caramelised Pears

  • 2 large pears, ripe and peeled
  • 500m water
  • 300g of sugar
  • 1 lemon, 2 strips of zest and juice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 dash of lemon juice
  • Demerara sugar


  1. Remove the breasts from the partridge and very finely dice the meat to make the ballotine filling.
  2. Next, make a herb paste. Use a pestle and mortar or small blender to grind the garlic, parsley, gruyere and thyme together, adding a drizzle of oil then the block of butter. Season with a pinch of salt and add half of this to the ballotine filling.
  3. The other half will be used to baste the ballotine later.
  4. Place the partridge skin-side down and season the meat well with salt and pepper, then lay the other larger sheet of butter on top of the meat. Top with the marinated breast meat filling then roll up into a tight log, pulling the skin over to seal. Tie up with butcher’s string then clingfilm tightly and leave to set in the fridge.
  5. remove the clingfilm and season the ballotine with salt and pepper. Lay the final, smaller sheet of butter over the ballotine and place a sheet of baking paper on top. Roast in the oven until the core temperature reaches 60°C (about 8-10 minutes) depending on size.
  6. Remove the baking paper and baste with the melted butter, then return to the oven until the core temperature reaches 64°C.
  7. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Caramelised Pears

  1. Slice a small layer from the base of the pears. Use a Parisian spoon or melon baller to scoop out the core.
  2. Place the pears in a pan with the water, sugar, lemon juice and strips and zest, bay leaves, rosemary and thyme.
  3. Cover with a cartouche, bring to a gentle simmer and poach until tender, approximately 15-20 minutes.
  4. Cut the poached pears in half lengthways and remove any fibrous core that remains. Roll the pear halves in Demerara sugar until lightly coated, shaking off any extra.
  5. Place onto a tray and lightly caramelise the sugar-coated surfaces of the pear pieces using a blow torch.

Headline Sponsors