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Partridge in a Pear Tree, by Chris McGowan

10 December 2010

Our seasonal recipe for partridge, pear, parsnip and chocolate sauce comes courtesy of Chris McGowan, head chef at Corrigan's Mayfair in London.

(Serves four)

â- 1 pear
â- 2 parsnips, peeled and chopped
â- 1 shallot
â- 20g dark chocolate
â- 200ml red wine
â- 50ml port
â- 1 tsp sherry vinegar
â- 100ml milk
â- 2tbs butter
â- 4 leaves kale or cabbage
â- Seasoning


First, remove the breast and legs from the partridge. For the sauce, chop the carcasses and roast until brown. Sweat the shallot in a pot with 10g butter, then add the carcasses, red wine, port and enough water or stock to cover. Boil, simmer and reduce by two-thirds. Strain the mixture into a pan, add the vinegar and chocolate, and dissolve the chocolate.

For the main dish, peel the pear, chop into wedges, core and roast. Heat the milk in a small pot; add the parsnips and a pinch of salt. Cook until soft, then blend, with 40g of butter, until smooth. Cook the kale in boiling salted water, drain and keep warm.

In a hot pan, heat the remaining butter. Fry the legs for 3 minutes, then add the breasts and cook in the oven for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with the parsnip purée, kale, a wedge of pear and a little chocolate sauce.

By Chris McGowan, head chef, Corrigan's Mayfair, London


To match this winter dish, you need a wine that will warm you up, has depth, tannins and a slight sweetness about it. I naturally turned towards Amarone style wines and would recommend a classic Amarone della Valpolicella from producers like Allegrini, Quintarelli or Dal Forno. A great alternative would be a Sforzato di Valtellina (also called Sfursat di Valtellina). Made the same way as Amarone, it is 100% from the Nebbiolo grape variety, located in the Lombardy region in northern Italy.

Xavier Rousset is co-owner of Texture and 28-50, both in London

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