Partridge Pot Roast

A hearty, nourishing and delicious pot roast, Partridge Pot Roast may be served with mashed potatoes and buttered peas.

Serve with a good red Rhone wine, such as Hermitage.

4-6

2 oz. butter

2 medium-sized onions, chopped

2 medium-sized carrots, scraped and sliced

6 streaky bacon slices, chopped

4 oz. mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

4 partridges, trussed and larded

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

1 ½ pints cups beef stock

4 fl. oz. red wine

1 tablespoon beurre manie

1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the onions and carrots and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown.

Using a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables to a large flameproof casserole. Set aside.

Add the bacon and mushrooms to the pan and fry, stirring frequently, for minutes or until the bacon is crisp and has rendered most of its fat. With a slotted spoon transfer the bacon mixture to the casserole.

Place the partridges in the pan and cook, turning them occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until they are lightly and evenly browned.

Remove the pan from the heat and transfer the partridges to the casserole. Add the salt, pepper and bouquet garni. Pour over the stock and wine. Place the casserole over high heat and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour until the partridges are tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.

Remove the casserole from the heat. Using tongs or two large spoons, remove the partridges from the casserole. Cut them into 4 pieces and keep warm. Strain the cooking liquid and set the vegetables aside to keep warm. Remove and discard the bouquet garni.

Return the strained cooking liquid to the casserole. Return the casserole to high heat and boil, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the cooking liquid has reduced by about one-third.

Reduce the heat to low. Gradually stir in the beurre manie, a small piece at a time, and continue cooking, stirring con stantly, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the sauce is smooth and has thickened.

Replace the partridges and vegetables in the casserole and stir in the parsley. Cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes or until the pot roast is piping hot. Remove the casserole from the heat and serve immediately.

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