Nigel Slater's quick game and offal recipes

Kidneys cooked with sherry
For 2, with mashed potatoes

8 lamb's kidneys, halved and cores removed
juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsps olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp flour
1 wineglass of dry sherry
1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Drop the kidneys into the lemon juice and mix well. Leave for at least 10 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a shallow pan and cook the onion until soft and translucent, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly over a medium heat. Turn the heat up to boil away any liquid. Drain the kidneys, dry them on kitchen paper and add them to the pan. Brown the kidneys on all sides, stir in the flour and add the sherry with an equal amount of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the parsley, taste and season with salt and pepper.

Grilled quail
For 2

4 quail
olive oil
a sprig or two of thyme
lemon, to serve

Heat the grill, rub each quail with a generous amount of olive oil, and then scatter the thyme leaves over them. Place under the preheated hot grill, a good 15cm away from the heat.

Cook for five minutes on each side, then turn breast-up and cook for 2-3 minutes till golden brown. If they show any sign of drying, then anoint them further with olive oil. Remove from the grill, season with salt and a little coarsely ground black pepper. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the meat as you eat.

Bread sauce would be nice with this, but it's a bit of a fiddle; I often just serve some good white bread. A blob of wobbly redcurrant or rowan jelly. A salad of spinach leaves and grapes would be my choice, dressed with walnut oil and lemon juice.

Liver with onion chutney
For 2

2 tbsps olive oil
25g butter
275g lamb's liver, thinly sliced
1 wineglass of red wine
4 tbsps coarse-cut oniony chutney (if you have a hot chutney use 2 tbsps, plus 2 of a mild fruity one)

You will need a chutney that is thick with onions and raisins, rather than a sweet fruity one. The coarser the pickle the better. Coriander seeds, which often appear in these products, are a bonus. Don't expect anything even vaguely edible from a dark-brown, sugar-laden commercial product.

Heat the oil and butter in a frying pan. When it sizzles, fry the liver very quickly until brown on both sides, probably a minute on each side. Remove the liver to warm plates. Pour the wine into the pan. Scrape up any residue from the pan with a spatula as the wine reduces over the heat. Stir in the chutney. As soon as it bubbles, spoon over the liver. Serve with mashed potato, or a salad of lettuce, dressed with lemon, and bread to mop up the sauce.

10-minute pigeon
For 2

2 wood pigeon, prepared
1 wineglass of
red wine
2 tbsps olive or
nut oil
thyme, a couple of sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 small clove of garlic, crushed
1 tsp black peppercorns, roughly crushed
2 tsps balsamic vinegar

Or 15-minute pigeon if rare game is not your thing. Most major food stores sell pigeon and when it's young it can be very good - piquant and succulent, particularly if you pick the legs up to eat them. Disaster stories with pigeons are legion, but most involve slow cooking. I now prefer to flash-roast the birds, cut into portions, in a very hot oven.

Cut each of the pigeons into 4 pieces, 2 breasts and 2 small legs. Put the pieces into a flameproof glass, stainless steel or china dish with the wine, oil, herbs, garlic and peppercorns. Set aside for as long as you can - an hour will just suffice, though overnight would be better. If the worst comes to the worst, 15 minutes will do. Heat the oven to 240C/475F (gas mark 9). Place the breasts on the top shelf of the hot oven and cook for five minutes, six if the breasts are large. Add the legs and the marinade and cook all for a further 6 minutes or until the birds are cooked to your liking. Remove the birds to a warm plate to rest, - the switched-off oven will do - put the roasting pan over the heat and get the cooking juices really hot; stir in the balsamic vinegar, taste for seasoning and add a little salt and pepper if you wish. Serve the roast meat, generously sprinkled with coarse salt, the pan juices and lots of bread. Cabbage, stir-fried with a little soy, would be a toothsome addition, or pan-fried mushrooms.

Roast partridge with mushrooms and bacon

2 partridge, ready for the oven, or 4 if small
75g butter
100g mushrooms, any variety
thyme, bay leaves
8 rashers of unsmoked streaky bacon

Preheat the oven to 220C/425F (gas mark 7). Place the birds in a roasting pan, but not too close together. Stuff a knob of butter about the size of a walnut into each bird. Add the mushrooms to the pan - you had better halve or quarter them if they are large - and season each bird with salt and pepper.

Add a few herbs to the partridge, 3-4 sprigs of thyme and a couple of bay leaves should be enough, and then dot the rest of the butter over the birds. Lay four of the bacon rashers over the birds. Roll up the other four and put them in the pan. Roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Baste the birds and the mushrooms with the pan juices at least once during cooking. Remove the bacon from the birds' breasts and return them to the oven for 5 minutes. Serve with the pan juices, mushrooms and bacon, a dollop of redcurrant jelly and some large, thick potato crisps, a leafy salad and some bread.

The Wine List

With the grilled quail
2000 Rasteau, Pierre-Bertrand Perrin (£7.99, Marks & Spencer) At their best, the wines of Rasteau can be as good as those of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. This blend of Grenache with 20% Syrah is packed with flavours of plum, raspberry and fresh herbs.

Ten minute pigeon
2000 Terramater Zinfandel/Syrah (£4.99, larger branches of the Co-op). An unusual combination of grapes to find in Chile, this blend of Zin and Syrah works really well, nevertheless. Intense blackberry and pepper notes.

Roast partridge
1999 Château de la Tour, Bordeaux Rouge (£5.49, Sainsbury's) Cheap claret at its best. This is dominated by the voluptuous Merlot grape and it shows in the wine's plump fruit flavours.

Liver with onion chutney
1999 LA Cetto Mexican Petite Sirah (£4.99, Somerfield) A bit of a curve ball, I admit, but Mexico produces some surprisingly good reds on occasion. This is juicy and rich with colour and mint, plum and blackberry fruit to spare.

Kidneys cooked with sherry
1998 Valpolicella Classico Superiore, Capitel dei Nicalo, Tedeschi (£5.99, Waitrose) A concentrated red made partially from dried grapes. Intense, black cherry like, full-bodied bodied red made in an old-fashioned style.
Tim Atkin

Thanks to guardian.co.uk who have provided this article. View the original here.