Flicking through Delicious magazine this month I saw some food ideas for the song The 12 Days Of Christmas. Several days had recipe ideas, several had decoration ideas. I decided to see if I could make a dish for each day of the song. Some are tough – Ladies Dancing, Lords A Leaping – so, if you will allow me a bit of leaway, I think I have got each of the 12 days sorted out. I aim to post one dish a day between now and December 24th.
And as a reminder
- On the first day of Christmas my true love sent to me a Partridge In A Pear Tree
- On the second day of Christmas my true love sent to me two Turtle Doves
- On the third day of Christmas my true love sent to me three French Hens
- On the fourth day of Christmas my true love sent to me four Colly Birds
- On the fifth day of Christmas my true love sent to me five Gold Rings
- On the sixth day of Christmas my true love sent to me six Geese a laying
- On the seventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me seven Swans A Swimming
- On the eigth day of Christmas my true love sent to me eight Maids A Milking
- On the ninth day of Christmas my true love sent to me nine Drummers Drumming
- On the tenth day of Christmas my true love sent to me ten Ladies Dancing
- On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love sent to me eleven Pipers Piping
- On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love sent to me twelve Lords A Leaping
Partridge In A Pear Tree My Way
For the partridge
- 1 Partridge
- 115g Sausagemeat, seasoned
- 20g fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 half teaspoon green peppercorns
- 1 finely chopped clove of garlic
- 3 sprigs of parsley finely chopped, half left whole
- 1 onion, half finely chopped
- 4 rashers streaky bacon
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 carrots
- 3 sprigs of thyme
Method for the Partridge
- Set oven to 220 c
- Bone the Partridge using the same technique as the pheasant. I ‘tunnel boned’ the partridge which means removing the bones, but leaving the main body of the bird whole. (Really. Not essential, a bit show off!) Set aside.
- Put the sausagemeat, chopped onion, garlic, green peppercorns and breadcrumbs in a bowl and mix well together. Using your hands is best.
- Form the sausagemeat into a ball and push into the partridge cavity.
- Cover the bird with the streaky bacon to stop it drying out in the cooking. There is very little fat on a partridge.
- Tie the bird with cooks string as the picture above.
- Put the olive oil in a small shallow roasting pan
- Place the remaining un-chopped half onion, the carrots and sprigs of thyme in the small pan with the oil.
- Place the partridge on the vegetables using them as a trivet. Cover with foil and put on the middle shelf of the oven.
- Turn the oven to 180 c immediately.
- After 25 minutes remove the foil and allow the bird to brown for a further 15 mins
- Remove from the oven and leave to stand for 10 minutes.
- Remove the string carefully, leaving the bacon wrapped around the partridge.
For the pears
- 2 whole pears peeled with the stork on
- 1 half stick of cinnamon about 3inches / 7cms
- 5 whole cloves
- 1 quarter teaspoon whole all spice
- 225g caster sugar
- 1 vanilla pod cut in half and the seeds scrapped
- 1 bottle red wine, enough to cover the pears completely
Method for the pears
- Place the dry ingredients in the pan
- place the pears up-right in the pan
- pour over the red wine until the pears are covered
- Place the pan on a medium heat and bring the liquid to a simmer
- Cover and poach for 20 to 30 minutes or until the pears are soft when a cocktail stick goes into the pears easily. The time varies depending on the ripeness of the pears.
- Allow the pears to cool slightly in the liquid
- Remove the pears and set aside.
- Strain the liquid back into the pan and reduce over a medium heat until the liquid is syrupy.
Assemble the dish
- Cut the partridge into four pieces, half lengthways and then in half across the middle.
- Take a narrow slice from the base of the pear to enable it to stand on the plate.
- Place pear to one side of the plate and the two, quarter, pieces of partridge balancing them against each other.
- With a dessert spoon pour a little of the syrupy juice onto the plate around the base of the pear and beside the partridge.
- For the photo I placed one piece of the partridge onto a fondant potato.