Friday, June 24, 2011

Partridges stewed in oil and vinegar

The other day Gemma came back from the market with a little bag containing three frozen partridges which our butcher had persuaded her to buy. We were already in pre-removals stage, the house was full of boxes and the store cupboards were running bare, but fortunately we still had the basic ingredients for a Spanish classic: perdices en escabeche.

4 partridges
2 large onions
4 cloves of garlic
6 bay leaves
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
250 ml olive oil
150 ml balsamic vinegar
200 ml water
1 tsp salt

  1. Cut the partridges in half lengthwise, remove any stubborn feathers that may remain on the legs or wings, and clean thoroughly. In a large pan, brown the partridge halves well on both sides, and remove.
  2. Slice the onions crosswise into rings, and slice the garlic. Pour the oil into a large saucepan, fry the onion and garlic gently, then add the browned partridges together with any juices which have accumulated, and add the herbs, vinegar, oil and salt.
  3. Cover the pan, bring to a simmer, reduce to minimum and cook for 1.5 hours.
  4. The partridges can be served hot, but I think they are actually best eaten cold a couple of days later - perfect for a posh picnic.
Happily ever after
This seemed like the perfect dish on which to end the Cadiz stage of my blog. Spanish fairytales end "y fueron felices y comieron perdices", which translates literally as "and they were happy and ate partridges". We are now heading back to Scotland for the foreseeable future, so this isn't so much the end of one story as the start of a new one, but I think the sentiment still applies.

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