A Partridge in a Pear Tree

see recipe), but if you add them raw they will still scent the partridge beautifully even if they remain too firm to eat in the brief time it takes to cook the partridge.  Cover each partridge with thin slices of bacon and place the birds in pre-soaked clay baking bricks if you have them.  This, I have found, is the best way to keep the birds tender during cooking, but you can open roast them if necessary.

If using the clay bricks they should be placed in a cold oven with the temperature then set to 230˚C.  The partridge will cook be cooked in about 50 minutes.  If open roasting, pre- heat the oven to 200˚C and roast the birds for about 40 minutes.

The pears need to be roasted at a lower temperature – 180˚C, and will take about 45 minutes.  Slice each pear in half lengthways, leaving the stalk in place.  Put the pear halves in a roasting tin, skin side down.  Mix together the honey, balsamic vinegar and a tablespoonful of the verjuice.  Season the pears and then spoon the honey dressing over each half.  Top with a sprig of thyme, a couple of flakes of butter and a little brown sugar.  Keep an eye on them as they cook to make sure that they are not getting too dark, adding a little verjuice to the pan if required.

When the partridges are cooked remove them from their cooking vessel and deglaze this with a little verjuice.  Remove the pears from their roasting tin and add the partridge juices to the thicker sticky left from roasting the pears.  Taste and adjust the flavours as required – you might want more verjuice or some crab apple jelly.

One thought on “A Partridge in a Pear Tree

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.