Partridge with pears and Christmas stuffing

servings4
2 hours

Ingredients

Partridge

  • 4 partridges
  • 200g of butter
  • 2 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 16 sprigs of thyme
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves

Pears

  • 3 Williams pears, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar

Christmas stuffing

  • 200ml of milk
  • 100g of white bread, cubed
  • 40g of butter
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel, chopped
  • 200g of mushrooms, chopped
  • 450g of pork fillet, minced
  • 450g of pork belly, minced
  • 450g of sausage meat
  • 10 chestnuts, peeled and chopped
  • 50g of dried cranberries
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 40ml of cognac
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbsp of parsley, chopped
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • butter for greasing

To plate

  • 4 Brussels sprouts, outer leaves discarded and 16 good leaves selected

Method

1
To make the stuffing, warm the milk in a pan. Add the bread and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Meanwhile melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat
  • 200ml of milk
  • 100g of white bread
  • 40g of butter
2
Add the onion and fennel and sweat until the onion is softened but not colour
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 bulb of fennel
3
Add the mushrooms and cook a little longer. Transfer to a large bowl. Pass the bread and milk through a sieve into the bowl with the onion, fennel and mushroom
  • 200g of mushrooms
4
Add all the remaining ingredients together with a good seasoning of salt and pepper
  • 450g of pork fillet
  • 450g of pork belly
  • 450g of sausage meat
  • 10 chestnuts
  • 50g of dried cranberries
  • 200ml of double cream
  • 40ml of cognac
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp of parsley
  • salt
  • black pepper
5
Using your hands mix really well
6
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Press the stuffing into a buttered ovenproof dish. Cover with buttered paper and a lid or wrap in tin foil and bake for 45 - 60 minutes
  • butter for greasing
7
For the partridge, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Make sure the inside of each partridge is clean and dry by wiping it out with a kitchen towel
  • 4 partridges
8
Combine the softened butter, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and mix together. Divid into 4 even amounts and stuff inside the birds
  • 100g of butter
  • 16 sprigs of thyme
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 4 bay leaves
9
Heat a small frying pan on a medium heat; add a drop of rapeseed oil and 25g of butter. Season the birds all over with salt
  • 1/4 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 25g of butter
  • salt
10
Brown the birds one by one all over, then replenish the oil and butter for each. Cook in the oven for 8-12 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes
  • 3/4 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 75g of butter
11
Remove the breasts and the legs and keep them in a warm place until required
12
For the pears, slice longways 1cm thick and remove the core. Melt the sugar in a pan until lightly caramelised. Add the vinegar and let bubble for a minute. Add the pears. Toss until caramelised
  • 4 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar
  • 3 Williams pears
13
Cook the brussels sprouts for 45 seconds in salted boiling water, strain set aside. Re-heat the partridge for 2 minutes and warm the pears through
  • 4 Brussels sprouts
14
To serve, cut the stuffing to a desired shape and warm through with the partridge. Sit the partridge on top of a slice of pear and the hot stuffing on the opposite side. Scatter over the brussels sprout leaves and drizzle over some of the liquid from the pears