The traditional pairing of partridge and pear is perfect for Christmas feasting, here accompanied by rich Christmas stuffing. This tuneful dish is sure to impress your festive guests

To make the stuffing, warm the milk in a pan. Add the bread and set aside to soak for 20 minutes. Meanwhile melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat
Add the onion and fennel and sweat until the onion is softened but not colour
Add the mushrooms and cook a little longer. Transfer to a large bowl. Pass the bread and milk through a sieve into the bowl with the onion, fennel and mushroom
Add all the remaining ingredients together with a good seasoning of salt and pepper
Using your hands mix really well
Heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Press the stuffing into a buttered ovenproof dish. Cover with buttered paper and a lid or wrap in tin foil and bake for 45 - 60 minutes
For the partridge, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4. Make sure the inside of each partridge is clean and dry by wiping it out with a kitchen towel
Combine the softened butter, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and mix together. Divid into 4 even amounts and stuff inside the birds
Heat a small frying pan on a medium heat; add a drop of rapeseed oil and 25g of butter. Season the birds all over with salt
Brown the birds one by one all over, then replenish the oil and butter for each. Cook in the oven for 8-12 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes
Remove the breasts and the legs and keep them in a warm place until required
For the pears, slice longways 1cm thick and remove the core. Melt the sugar in a pan until lightly caramelised. Add the vinegar and let bubble for a minute. Add the pears. Toss until caramelised
Cook the brussels sprouts for 45 seconds in salted boiling water, strain set aside. Re-heat the partridge for 2 minutes and warm the pears through
To serve, cut the stuffing to a desired shape and warm through with the partridge. Sit the partridge on top of a slice of pear and the hot stuffing on the opposite side. Scatter over the brussels sprout leaves and drizzle over some of the liquid from the pears
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  • 4 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of Red Wine Vinegar
  • 3 Williams pears, peeled and sliced

Christmas stuffing

To plate

  • 4 Brussels sprouts, outer leaves discarded and 16 good leaves selected

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The 'partridge in a pear tree' line from '12 days of Christmas' song is the inspiration behind this supreme Christmas recipe from Galton Blackiston

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Loved this dish, I slightly over cooked the partridge but the pears complimented it very well.
The stuffing Was some of the best I've ever tasted ,goes well on its Own as a pate .
I also added potato, herb and rapseed oil stacks , recommend .
3 January 2014