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« basicJuice Blog: Now with a feminine touch | Main | Carchelo Tinto: Meaty Monastrell »

14 December 2004

..and a (Spanish) partridge in a pear tree

This recipe is intended to be prepared with an actual Partridge.  In my case, I used Hungarian Partridges (compliments of my friendly hunter-neighbor).  However, if your local grocery doesn't carry partridges, you could easily substitute game hens or pheasant.

Toledo (Spain)-Style PartridgeToledo_spain2

Ingredients for 4:

  • 2-4 partridges, cleaned and split in half
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • salt
  • 3 tbsps Spanish virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp plain four
  • 1tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 250ml (8 fl oz) chicken stock
  • 1 wineglass dry white wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 2 tbsp bitter dark chocolate, grated

Sprinkle salt and pepper over the partridges. Heat the oil in a deep, flameproof casserole, add the birds and fry for about 5 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, until softened.

Now make a roux, by stirring in the flour, then add the stock, wine, vinegar, bay leaves and cloves. Slowly bring to the boil, stirring constantly, and season with a little salt and pepper.

Cover the casserole and leave to cook very gently for about 30-40 minutes, until the birds are tender. Stir in the grated chocolate, cover and cook for a further 15 minutes.

Remove the birds to a heated serving dish and strain the sauce over them.

Try this dish with a 'gamey' red wine.  Reds containing the Mourvèdre grape (known as Monastrell in Spain) usually fit this description.  Two to try:

1. Carchelo Tinto '03 ($8) from the Jumilla D.O.
2. Louis Bernard Lirac '99 ($12) from the Southern Rhone Valley of France


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