Pays d’Oc IGP recipe challenge: Partridge in a pear tree pt.2

Earlier this week, I made a nutty, sweet pearl barley risotto with partridge and pear jus to eat alongside a plummy bottle of 2013 Les Boissières Merlot (£10.25). Usually when I make a decadent mid-week dinner, it’s because I’m being a pig. Standard.

But this time it was for a wine and recipe challenge set to show off the inherent quality of the wines from the Pay d’Oc, a territory caught between the land and the sea that produces some of the finest wines in France.

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It appears that I’ll never be a one-and-done sort of person. So, in the spirit of Christmas leftovers, I’ve created a second sweet and spicy raw salad recipe for the Pays d’Oc IGP wine challenge that uses similar ingredients to the first one, found here, but, as an added bonus, can be made from any leftover roasted partridge you might have.

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While this would work with turkey, too, there’s something about the gamey richness of partridge meat that works so well with the fruity, spiced flavours of this raw winter salad’s dressing and pairs so perfectly with a glass of indecently fruity, pillow-soft Les Boissières Merlot. Plus it involves my favourite festive vegetable: Brussels sprouts.

Roasted partridge salad with shaved sprouts, cauliflower and radish with a spiced fig dressing

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Serves 2

Ingredients

Leftover partridge breasts, sliced
1 ripe Comice pear
6 Brussels sprouts
1 head of red endive
1 cauliflower
6 radishes
4 figs
4/5 cloves

Kitchen cupboard:
olive oil
balsamic vinegar
brown sugar
ground ginger

Method

  • Wash all of your veg to remove any lingering bits of dirt and grit.
  • Remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower head and, using a mandolin if you have one (or a large, sharp kitchen knife if your don’t), thinly slice pieces of the cauliflower.

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  • Thinly slice the sprouts, radish and pear and arrange on plates along with leaves of red endive and shaved cauliflower.
  • Slice up your left over partridge and scatter over the vegetables.
  • Cut the figs in half and put in a small pan with four teaspoons of balsamic vinegar, five tablespoons of water, a pinch of brown sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger and the cloves.

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  • Simmer the mixture on a low heat until it’s reduced down to a glossy, almost jammy liquid and the figs are a fudgey mess. Mix with a little olive oil to loosen and drizzle over your salad before serving.

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Find out more about the exceptional wines of the region here: http://www.paysdoc-wines.com and on their twitter account @paysdocigpwines

And buy the wine I was matching, Les Vignes de L’Arque, Les Boissières, Merlot, 2013 (£10.25) at Leon Stolarski here: http://www.lsfinewines.co.uk/acatalog/Les_Vignes_de_l_Arque.html

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