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Partridges with White Wine and Vegetables (Perdices Estofada

ingredients

serves 4
4 Partridges, trussed and larded
Salt and pepper to taste
50 g (2 oz) 4 Tbs Butter
4 slices Lean bacon, chopped
125 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup Dry white wine
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Water
3 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 Bouquet garni
1/4 tsp Grated nutmeg
2 tsp Grated lemon rind
12 Small onions, blanched
12 Small new potatoes, scraped
6 Small carrots, cut into quarters, lengthways
50 g (2 oz) 1/3 cup Green peas, weighed after shelling
4 Small courgettes (zucchini), sliced
Sprinkle the partridges with salt and pepper to taste.

method

1. Melt the butter in a flameproof casserole or large, heavy-based saucepan. Add the partridges and fry until they are evenly browned. Using tongs, transfer them to a plate and keep hot.

2. Add the bacon to the casserole and fry until it is crisp and has rendered its fat. Transfer the bacon to kitchen towels to drain. Pour off most of the cooking fat from the casserole.

3. Pour the wine and water into the casserole, then add the garlic, bouquet garni, nutmeg and lemon rind. Return the partridges to the casserole and bring the liquid to the boil. Stir in the onions, potatoes and carrots and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and reserved bacon and cook for a further 15 minutes, or until the partridges are cooked through and tender.

4. Remove from the heat and remove and discard the bouquet garni. Remove the trussing thread and lard.

5. Serve at once.

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