Partridge with pears and Christmas stuffing

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The traditional pairing of partridge and pear by Galton Blackiston is perfect for Christmas feasting, here accompanied by a rich, seasonal stuffing. This festive main is sure to impress your guests and can be served with other Christmas side dishes.

First published in 2015






  • 3 Williams pears, peeled and sliced
  • 4 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of red wine vinegar

Christmas stuffing

To plate

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


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
  • 200ml of milk
  • 100g of white bread
  • 40g of butter
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
  • 3/4 tbsp of rapeseed oil
  • 75g of butter
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
  • 4 Brussels sprouts
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
First published in 2015

There can't be many Michelin-starred chefs who started out selling homemade cakes, biscuits and preserves on a market stall in Rye in 1979. Yet, the quietly spoken, endearingly eccentric Galton Blackiston isn't like other chefs.

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