In a world where there is an abundance of shot red-legged partridge it is time to put less pressure on the endangered grey-legged bird. There are simply not the numbers of sustainable grey-legged partridge to merit inclusion on a restaurant menu.
The grey-legged partridge is a native of the UK, is a favourite of chefs and has been the go-to variety for decades of game lovers. However, that time is up. The birds may have a more delicate flavour but the imported red-legged variety of partridge must become the new normal.
In years such as this grouse are in short supply. That’s because the cold then wet spring wiped out numbers leaving grouse shooting either severely restricted or cancelled altogether. Chefs moved on to other game varieties or simply didn’t put anything on their menus.
But, in terms of the grey-legged partridge it is time for chefs to simply say no to grey-legged altogether until numbers return in a sustainable way. There are a handful of shoots at any given time where there is a sustainable harvest of grey-legged birds that can be shot. But they are few and far between and the onus must be on the chef to find out in advance if these birds are sustainable.
It is true that the red-legged partridge do not match the delicate flavour of the grey but in order to enjoy it again in the future the hospitality industry must act in its interests and decline any birds that do not come from fully-traceable shoots where there is a recorded surplus of these magnificent and very British birds.
Allan Pickett, Head Chef at L’Oscar London has created a delicious red partridge recipe using perfect partridge from Curtis Pitts Deer Services – You can recreate his recipe using our recipe card CLICK HERE.