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Convent of Alcântara-style partridge

It is considered by many as the only example of Portuguese recipe of haute cuisine. According to Oliveira Bello - gastronome and founder, in 1933, of the Portuguese Society of Gastronomy - in his book "Portuguese Cuisine," this is the recipe that Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), a great French chef, mentions in his "Guide de Culinaire". Reportedly this recipe for partridge have been found by the soldiers of Junot, when they sacked the convent of Alcantara in Lisbon. The Duchess of Abrantes (Lady Junot), having learned about the recipe, transcribed it in his memoirs and Ecoffier rewrote it in his "Guide de Culinaire”.


Recipe

3 partridges
250 g foie gras
100 g truffles
2 bottles dry Port wine
60 g butter
500 ml poultry broth (preferably partridge)
salt
slices of bread

. Prepare the partridges and bone carefully, rub with salt.
. Fill up with the foie gras and the truffles, cut into small pieces, reconstructing the birds to their original shape.
. Tie up the partridges and place them in an infusion (well covered) of Port wine, for 48 hours.
. Put the birds in a pan and bring to the boil in the wine infusion, over a low heat until they are tender and the sauce reduced and thick.
. When the partridges are cooked put them in a buttered casserole, over a truffle layer and drizzle with the poultry broth. Cover the casserole well and put in the oven for 45 minutes.
. Put the partridges over bread slices lightly fried in butter and pour the basting sauce over the birds. Serve warm or cold.