Preparation and Cooking Time- 3 hours
Gamey flavours work perfectly with sweet flavours, and partridge works wonderfully with pear. So if you’re looking for a show stopping Christmas starter, this is it.
The inspiration for this recipe, in all honesty, did come from the Christmas song, ‘A partridge in a pear tree’. I created it for a Christmas menu that I wrote at a hotel I once worked in and the balance of flavours was absolutely perfect.
Yes this does take a little time, and you may have to hunt around a little for a partridge (I found mine in a Waitrose, but you can ask your local butcher to source one for you), but trust me it is absolutely worth it. Give it a go, try something new, and create something unique for either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day. It can be made a couple of days in advance, so long as the partridge is fresh, and it will be sure to put a smile on the face of all of your diners.
Approximate Cost of the Dish- £9
1 Whole partridge
2 Shallots (one red onion can be used as a substitute)
2 Tablespoon of goose fat
1 Litre vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
1. Pour your vegetable oil into a pan large enough to comfortably fit your partridge and heat to a low temperature.
2. Place your partridge into the oil and cook for roughly 40 mins. This method of cooking is called confiting, which is a French technique and locks in all of the flavour and creates very tender, tasty meat.
3. After 40 mins remove the bird and allow to cool.
4. After it has cooled, strip the meat from the bird with your fingers, making sure that the bits of the bird are not too big, they want to be roughly half a cm in size and add to a bowl.
5. Dice you shallots or onion very finely. If you aren’t comfortable doing it with a knife you can always put it in a blender. Once you have done this, add to the partridge.
6. Zest and juice a lemon and add to the partridge mix.
7. Add 1 teaspoon of oregano to the mix.
8. Melt your goose fat in the microwave (this will depend on how strong your microwave is, it takes mine around 45 seconds) and then add to the partridge mix.
9. Season the partridge with salt and pepper and mix together thoroughly. Allow to rest in the fridge for 30 to 45 mins.
10. Hollow out your pears with a spoon, so you can stuff them with the partridge terrine mix.
11.Stuff the mix into the cavity and slice at around every 1.5 cms, then serve!