Merguez stuffed Partridge

laurie partridge

On Sunday, I went to buy a brace of partridge, from the Pheasant Girl on the Layer Marney Lamb stall at the Farmers’ Market.


While I was choosing my birds, I noticed some merguez on the same stall. Merguez are a spicy sausage from the Maghreb (North Africa), typically made from mutton or beef, with cumin, chilli or harissa. I was intending to buy some pork sausages from another stall, but I thought partridge would be really good stuffed with a spicy mutton sausage.

Partridge stuffed with meguez recipe:

1 partridge per person (plucked and dressed)
1 merguez sausage (per bird)
3 slices smoked streaky bacon (per bird)
butter to grease the roasting dish
1/4 pint game stock
a splash of red wine vinegar
sea salt and cracked black pepper


Grease a small baking dish with butter (save paper wrappers from packs of butter specifically for this). Gently cut down the length of a merguez sausage with a sharp knife and peel off the casing. Take your partridge and push the sausage meat into the cavity.


Sprinkle a little sea salt and black pepper onto the partridge and wrap it with 3 slices of smoked streaky bacon. There’s very little fat on a game bird, so the bacon will help to keep it moist. Add a little game stock (chicken is a good substitute) and red wine vinegar to the pan and put the bird into a preheated oven at 200º C.

crispy bacon

A partridge is normally done in 20 – 30 minutes, but since this one was stuffed, I gave it an hour in the oven. When the bacon looks crispy, remove it, baste the bird with the juices in the pan and give it another 10 minutes for the skin to brown. Do keep the bacon and chop it up – serve it with your vegetables.


There’s no need to overcook a partridge – it doesn’t need to be burnt to a crisp. Both lamb and game should be served pink.


If you have any doubts, use a digital thermometer for an anal probe – 62º C is good, but do rest the bird for 10 minutes (preferably breast down and in foil to keep it warm), while you make some gravy.


Use the pan juices and additional stock for the gravy.

roast potatoes

Serve with seasonal vegetables and roast potatoes cooked in goose fat.

I drank a glass of of El Santu Asturian sidra (cider) with my supper – it was a good match.

See here for instructions on how to pluck a partridge.

Other Partridge posts

About Mad Dog
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16 Responses to Merguez stuffed Partridge

  1. Eha says:

    So simple ! So delicious ! Well, you know my limitations 🙂 ! Probably a poussin but I can get lamb-based merguez of hopefully similar quality and almost copy ! Having been on the same post with you for a delightful chanterelle soup this ‘my’ morning, methinks the two dishes would make one almighty-tasting dinner . . . thanks !

  2. Nadia says:

    Lovely recipe. I can just imagine the delicious aromas.

  3. There’s something that gives me great delight when I’m served an entire “something” so partridge really fits the bill. Can’t remember the last time I ate it though. No excuses here not to, as there are plenty of places locally I can buy and one of our two local butchers often makes merguez sausages.I bet the cider was perfect with it!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Tanya – they are just the right size and the merguez was a perfect complimentary flavour (as was the cider). I’m surprised I hadn’t thought about it before – I just needed to see them side by side on the stall.

  4. Ron says:

    What a good idea to stuff the partridge with a fresh sausage, specially merguez. With our significant North African population, merguez is one sausage I can readily obtain. The partridge, on the other hand might prove tricky. Like Eha, perhaps I’ll try your recipe with one of our local free-range poussins. But, I’ll keep looking for the rapphöns (partridge) as I know they’re hunted here.

  5. Karen says:

    I love the spicy flavor of merguez and can imagine how much flavor it gave to your dish. What a delicious meal you prepared.

  6. Michelle says:

    You’re rocking the partridge. Those potatoes look fab. And I laughed out loud at the anal probe reference. 🙂

  7. Conor Bofin says:

    Your Madness,
    That must have been one flavour packed bird. Wonderful to see the combination. I will try stuffing the smaller game birds with sausage meat myself. I assume it keeps the bird moist and give a huge punch of flavour too.
    Keep up the good work,

    • Mad Dog says:

      Ha ha, thanks Conor – that was an excellent bird. The combination of the fatty mutton in the sausage and the bacon wrapping made for a lovely tender partridge.

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