Almost above all other game birds I love partridges. I like watching them alive, and I love to eat them‘plump as bishops’, as Browning says. Ian MacCall of the Scottish Game Conservancy tells me partridges are on the increase due to the simple expedient of leaving the margins of fields unsprayed. When you tell people you are going to cook this dish they look askance as if the cabbage will spoil the birds, but I find it excellent and a good way of dealing with older birds.
Parboil the shredded cabbage in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain well.
In a heavy pan melt the fat and brown the partridges on all sides. Add the cabbage, season with salt and pepper, and add the paprika and a few juniper berries. Cover and cook for 20 minutes.
Add the cream, mix well and adjust the seasoning. Cover and cook for a further 10 minutes.
© 1996 Jennifer Paterson and Clarissa Dickson Wright estate. All rights reserved.