Casserole of Partridges with Cabbage

Traditional in Somerset, where partridges used to be more plentiful than they are today. Old birds can be used and impart a delicious flavour to the cabbage. Serve with plain boiled potatoes and red-currant or crab-apple jelly.

Ingredients

  • 2 partridges, trussed
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in rings
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) butter
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • cups (6 dl) chicken stock
  • 2 green summer cabbages, outer leaves discarded, finely chopped

Method

Chop half the bacon slices and put them into a large casserole that has a lid. Fry the onion and carrot in the butter and put them on top of the bacon. Lay the partridges on this bed. Sprinkle with thyme, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Pour over the stock, cover the casserole closely and cook in a moderate oven, 350°F (180°C, Gas Mark 4), for 1½ hours. Remove the casserole from the oven, pack in the cabbage and return to the oven for 30 minutes.

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