Photo by Patricia Esteve
Garlic is a key ingredient in Catalan cuisine
This wonderful country dish is adapted from Patience Gray's Honey from a Weed and makes a warming supper for a cold January night while patridge is still in season. It is quite painstaking to cook, so make sure you do it on a day with plenty of time to spare.
Rub two plump patridges with salt and coat them in pig's lard. Roast whole in earthenware in a moderate oven for 1.5 hours, basting from time to time. Remove, de-bone and cut into quarters as best you can.
Prepare a sofregit with 2 cloves of garlic and 1 large sweet onion (both finely chopped) in the same earthenware as the partridge. When golden add 2 large tomatoes halved and grated. Cook slowly for at least an hour. Then slowly add a glass of gutsy red wine making a thick gravy. Meanwhile, make a picada grinding pine nuts a pinch of salt and sprig of parsley to a fine paste, adding it to the sauce. Set aside.
Separate 8 individual large leaves from a Savoy cabbage and blanch rapidly in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain, run under a cold tap to revive and dry. Wrap each quarter in a cabbage leaf tucking in the edges to cover the partridge completely. Dip in beaten egg and then in flour and sauté each stuffed leaf in butter until golden and slightly crisp.
Drain on kitchen paper and serve hot with the sofregit sauce drizzled over the top. Roast baby potatoes with garlic and roemary are a good accompaniment.