Partridge & Pearl Barley Risotto

Nina Matsunaga

Nina Matsunaga

2nd July 2020

Partridge & Pearl Barley Risotto

60 min

On the menu at The Black Bull in Sebergh


Pearl Barley

  • 3 tbsp rapeseed oil 2 fat cloves of garlic, minced 1 onion, finely chopped 1 leek, hard green parts removed, finely sliced 200g pearl barley 500ml chicken stock 200-300g beetroot juice 1 tsp picked thyme leaves Salt and pepper, to season 2 tbsp cream
  • 30g hard, strong cheese, grated A handful of spinach


  • 2 long legged partridges or crowns Oil Butter Thyme, garlic, and seasoning

To finish

  • 2 figs cut in half Pickled walnut A handful of kale 2 baby beetroot


Pearl barley

Put two tablespoons of oil in a wide, shallow pan on a medium heat and add the onions, stirring to stop them sticking – you want everything soft, sweet, and translucent. Add the leeks and keep stirring regularly.
After around 10 minutes, pour in the pearl barley and stir. Add a splash of stock, bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer, and when the stock is almost all absorbed, add a little more.
Repeat until the stock is used up, add beetroot juice a splash at a time. Check the pearl barley is soft and swollen and has the desired red/purple colour you want.
Add the thyme and seasoning and stir through to warm for a minute or two. Remove from the heat, add the cream, cheese and spinach, and stir well.


Brown the partridges in a pan with a little oil well on all sides and then place in the oven at 180c fan with some butter in its cavity and on top and herbs and seasonings and cook approximately 6-8 mins.
Let the bird rest in a warm place for around 4-5 mins and carve breasts and legs.

To finish, Peel the baby beetroot and cook in lightly salted water until ready (check after 8 mins).
Place halved figs in the oven with a drizzle of oil and soften them a little around 5 mins.
Blanch the kale in salted water, drain and serve.

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