Butter Roast Partridge with Madeira Cream Sauce
8 Partridge Breasts
6oz (175g) softened butter
1 clove garlic crushed
smidgen of ground mace
1/2 teaspoon salt and milled pepper
8 rashers of bacon
8 small slivers onion
1/2 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon tomato puree
8 fl oz (200ml) dry Madeira
1/2 chicken stock cube
1/2 pint (300ml) single cream
4 oz smooth liver pate
4 butter fried croutons, 2 inches (5cm) diameter
Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 /190°C/375°F. Make a paste of the butter, garlic, mace, half-teaspoon salt and a few screws of pepper. Rub this mixture all over each of the eight partridge breasts coating as evenly as possible. Cover the breasts by curling round a rasher of bacon.
Heat 1oz butter and a drop of oil in a frying pan until foaming, and in batches, gently brown each of the partridge packages just to give them a nice golden colour.
Sit each of the prepared breasts on a sliver of onion in a small compact roasting tin and roast near the top of the oven for 15-20 minutes or so, depending on how well you prefer your game cooked. Remove the breasts and keep warm.
Pour away any excess fats from the roasting tin, but keeping any meat juices that will have culminated in the bottom. Sprinkle in 1/2 teaspoon of flour - no more. Let this brown, with the modest amount of tomato puree, over a low heat crumble half a stock cube, add the Madeira, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for two minutes, adding the cream at this point. Strain into a warm sauceboat, or pour on to dinner plates. Stand two breasts per portion on a butter-fried crouton spread with the liver pate.