…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)
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.
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