On the First Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me.....

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2012-03-02 17:34:53 -0600
Started 2011-12-12 09:30:15 -0600

…a partridge in a pear tree.

Let's have some fun. I know, the 12 days of Christmas are actually supposed to be between winter solstice (Dec 21) thru to Jan 5th, but I couldn't wait.

In Medieval and Tudor England, when this carol developed, the twelve days of Christmas were a time of partying and feasting by the upper classes and the partridge is a game bird that would have been a popular main course at one of the feasts.

Lentil Soup with Partridges (rough grouse)
2 Partridges
1 c Lentils
6 c Broth, chicken
1 lb Veal bones
1 md Carrots; peeled
1 Parsnip; peeled
1 Celery root; peeled
1/4 lb Bacon, smoked
2 tb Flour, all-purpose
1 sm Onions; chopped
1/2 ts Mustard, prepared
1/3 c Heavy cream

Soak partridges in cold water 3-4 hours. Place lentils in soup pot with chicken broth, veal bones, carrot, parsnip and celery. Slowly bring to a boil.
Cut smoked bacon into small dice and render fat. With slotted spoon remove cracklings and set aside.
Dry partridges. Very quickly brown the whole bird in the bacon drippings, giving them some color. Remove partridges and place in soup pot with lentils.
Make a roux with the same fat used to brown the partridges and the flour and onion. Add 1/2 cup cold water and whip until smooth. When partridges and lentils are done, about 2 hours, add liquified roux. Cook for an additional 10 minutes. Take out partridges and bone them. Replace meat chunks in soup. Just before serving, whip mustard and cream into the soup.

Note: partridges can be one of the toughest birds in the world, and the 2 hour cooking time may be longer. This is an excellent way to prepare what would otherwise be a very tough bird.
Just Game Recipes is located at www.justgamerecipes.com

Share your take on this wonderful carol. Share a recipe or a story that this part of the carol brings to mind.

Tomorrow…stanza two!

8 replies

pixsidust 2011-12-14 23:05:10 -0600 Report

Pheasant is popular in Spain and It is not very good, even in the finest restaurants.

jayabee52 2011-12-15 01:52:02 -0600 Report

it is an acquired taste. When a boy on the farm we had them on our farm. and hunted them and ate them. There are mostly gone now in Nw OH due to modern agricultural practices. Really sad too. I understand they are still plentiful in places like south Dakota

But partridges and pheasants are two different birds Partrige: ~ http://www.google.com/imgres?hl=en&sa=X&a... Ringneck pheasant: ~ http://www.encore-editions.com/painting-for-b... (note: we only hunted the male ringneck)

GabbyPA 2011-12-15 13:24:34 -0600 Report

Yes, actually when I was researching the carol, the 5 golden rings most likely referred to gold ringed phesants. I stopped posting these though because it seemed no one was interested. I will continue if you like...I thought it would be a fun distraction.

GabbyPA 2011-12-15 13:27:48 -0600 Report

Ok, well, I will try a few more. I kind of figured as we worked through it, we would get to the fun of the dancing in the later stanzas.

Caroltoo 2011-12-14 23:14:13 -0600 Report

But they are surely beautiful when seen in the wild. Let's just leave them there. We have more food choices than were available in the late middle ages.

GabbyPA 2011-12-12 19:44:33 -0600 Report

I guess this is not going to work as well as I hoped...oh well, that is how it goes sometimes. LOL