Thomasina Miers' recipe for Thai coconut curry with partridge and squash | The Simple Fix

My local market has been exquisitely decorated with squashes and pumpkins this autumn. I marvel at their knobbly, non-conformist shapes and sizes, and their stunning range of colours.

If ever there was a time for embracing variety in our vegetables, it is now: global seed companies are increasingly trying to shrink the varieties available to us, both to buy and to grow. Here, I am pairing the sweetness of squash with the gentle flavour of partridge.

Thai peanut coconut curry with partridge and squash

If you are squeamish about jointing a bird, ask a friendly butcher to help. I find this is a brilliant way to cook partridge or pheasant, yielding a tender, succulent bite.

Prep 20 min
Cook 50 min
Serves 4-6

3 partridges, jointed (or other small game birds, such as pheasant; use guinea fowl out of game season)
Salt and pepper
5 tbsp coconut oil
1 medium-sized squash, peeled and diced
4 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
1 stem lemongrass, tough outer layer discarded and roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 large thumb ginger, peeled
150g-200g good-quality red curry paste, to taste
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 x 400ml tin coconut milk
1 tbsp fish sauce

To serve
Peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
Coriander leaves
1 plump lime, juiced

Heat the oven to 220C (200C fan)/gas 7, then season the partridge. Heat two tablespoons of the coconut oil in a deep, wide casserole dish and brown the partridge skin side down. You should do this in two to three batches, for a minute or two per batch. Set aside the partridge, tip the squash into the same casserole dish, season generously and stir to coat in the hot fat. Roast for 10 minutes while you make the sauce.

Put the shallots, lemongrass, garlic, ginger, curry paste and peanut butter in a blender or food processor with a tablespoon of water, and blitz to a paste. Warm the remaining coconut oil in a medium saucepan, gently fry the paste for seven to eight minutes, then add the coconut milk, 100ml water and fish sauce.

Take the squash out of the oven. Bring the sauce to simmering point, pour it over the squash and stir in the partridge legs. Roast for 10 minutes, then add the breasts and cook for a final 10-15 minutes, until the partridge is tender and the squash cooked through.

Serve on a bed of steamed rice, sprinkled with peanuts, coriander and fresh lime juice.

And for the rest of the week

Stir any leftover curry paste into yoghurt and gently warm to dress fast-baked fish. Or use to make a vegetarian Thai curry: try adding to diced celeriac and lime leaves for a midweek feast or dousing over cauliflower before roasting.


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