From Stokey Food Assembly

Pears & cheese…and a festive recipe to warm up your soul

“Never did God make a marriage like that of pear and cheese”, says an old French proverb. And it is so right: whether it’s a mature cheddar or a brie, or even a blue cheese of the lighter sort, the pairing of cheese and pears is simply magnificent.

Which is just perfect for this week’s news that the lovely people at Brambletye have lowered their prices, so you can now get your hands on one bag of their biodynamic pears for only £2.20. This week the great Wobbly Bottom Farm is also delivering their cheeses, so you could try pairing your pears with one of their cheddars or a mature goat cheese.

With the leftover pears, you could always make a lovely dessert by poaching them in wine. Get the recipe here (it’s the third one in the list)

At the Stokey Food Assembly we are also getting into festive spirit.
So, taking inspiration from the great Delicious magazine, we devised a tasty winter recipe almost entirely made with Food Assembly ingredients (apart from the garlic, white wine, rosemary, bay and breadcrumbs), perfect for one of those cold days before Christmas. We hope you’ll enjoy it.

Pot roast partridge, with sausages and haricot beans

Serves 6

2 tbsp rapeseed oil
3 Marsh’s partridges (or one large free-range chicken if you prefer)
150g Marsh’s streaky smoked bacon, sliced
6 Marsh’s sage & onion sausages (traditional, Lincolnshire or pork
& leek would also work), twisted and cut into half
2 medium red onions, finely chopped
1 celery stick, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
500ml white wine
2 sprigs rosemary & 3 bay leaves, tied in a bunch
500ml chicken stock, hot
2 x 400g tins Hodmedods haricot beans, drained and rinsed
a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
50g fresh breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 140°C/fan120°C/gas 1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-based casserole. Season the partridges or chicken well, then brown lightly all over. Remove and set aside. Add the bacon to the pan and fry gently for 5 minutes until lightly golden, then remove with a slotted spoon.
Add the sausages to the dish and fry over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes to
brown, then remove and set aside with the bacon.
Gently fry the sliced onion and celery for 10 minutes until soft and translucent, then add the garlic and fry for a further minute. Pour in the white wine and bubble briskly for 5 minutes until reduced by a third.
Return the partridges/chicken, bacon and sausage to the pan, then add the rosemary and bay and pour in the stock. Season well, bring to the boil, then transfer, uncovered, to the oven for 1 hour (1 hour 20 minutes if you’re using a whole chicken).
Remove the casserole from the oven and increase the temperature to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6.
With a slotted spoon remove the partridges/chicken and sausages and set aside. Put the casserole on the hob and boil the liquid over a high heat for about 20 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half
Remove from the heat, gently stir in the beans and parsley, then return the bird(s) and sausages to the dish. Scatter over the breadcrumbs – mainly around the birds, leaving most of the partridges/chicken breast(s) exposed – then return to the oven for 20 minutes. Serve with steamed greens.

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