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    Partridge and pear casserole.

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    Partridge and pear casserole.

    Post  Admin on Sun Jan 01, 2012 1:11 pm

    Ingredients
    225g/8oz bacon lardons 30 mins prep time. 1 to 2 hours cooking time. Serves 4.

    4 partridges

    15 pearl onions, peeled

    2 fresh bay leaves

    12 whole peppercorns

    300ml/10½fl oz hot chicken or game stock

    150ml/5fl oz ruby port

    2 tbsp sherry vinegar

    1 tbsp clear honey

    2 pears, cut into quarters

    1 tbsp butter

    1 tbsp plain flour

    salt and freshly ground black pepper

    1-2 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves, to serve

    Preparation method
    1.Preheat the oven to 170C/340F/Gas 3.

    2.Dry fry the bacon in a large, non-reactive, ovenproof, lidded frying pan over a medium heat for 4-5 minutes, or until golden-brown and crisp.

    3.Add the partridges and fry for 6-8 minutes, turning regularly, or until browned on all sides. Remove the partridges from the pan and set aside.

    4.Add the onion, bay leaves and peppercorns to the pan the partridges were cooked in. Fry in the pan juices for 6-8 minutes, or until the onions have softened.

    5.Add the stock, port and sherry vinegar and bring to the boil. Return the partridges to the pan, then cover the pan with the lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for one hour, or until the partridges are cooked through and the sauce has thickened.

    6.Meanwhile, heat the honey in a pan until it has melted and is bubbling. Add the pears and turn to coat them in the honey. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until caramelised, then remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

    7.When the partridge casserole has cooked, pour the cooking juices into a clean saucepan and skim off any fat.


    8.Mix the butter and flour together in a bowl and press together roughly using your fingers until combined (this is called beurre manié).

    9.Bring the skimmed cooking juices to the boil and add the beurre manié, a little at a time, whisking continuously, until the sauce has thickened to a smooth gravy. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    10.To serve, divide the caramelised pears among four deep serving bowls. Place one partridge on top of each portion of pears. Spoon over the vegetables and gravy, then sprinkle over the thyme.


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