With Chocolate Week just gone, we want to do our part and celebrate this delicious ingredient source of endorphins and serotonin with a recipe. And today we are
partnering up with Ombar, who have created raw cocoa chocolate bars that preserve all the nutrients of chocolate. Is it really raw? Of course not. The cocoa beans are processed at a slow temperature, but not roasted, and that is why they can be called raw.
I got a 90% raw cocoa bar and decided that instead of putting it in a smoothie or a cake, I wanted to cook something with it. Finding the partridges was just what I needed – now that autumn is coming along with chilly evenings, a strongly flavoured game casserole is just what you want to be cooking on the stove. This recipe serves four.
35g Ombar 90% Raw Cocoa Chocolate
2 garlic cloves
300ml wine (I used red wine, but white is also good)
300ml stock (I had some previously prepared chicken stock)
1 bay leaf
5 pepper corns
1 pinch of sugar
Step 1 – Clean the partridges and apply salt inside out. Tie them up with a thin cooking rope. Put them in a wide casserole (ideally made of terracotta but I didn’t have one large enough) with the oil and 50g of lard. Fry them till golden on both sides.
Step 2 – Take them out of the casserole and put them on the side. In the same casserole fry the garlic. Then add the bay leaves, wine, vinegar, stock, cloves and pepper corns. Cook this mixture for a few minutes with the lid on.
Step 3 – Add the partridges and cook them at low heat till they are tender. This should take around 30 minutes. Just remember to turn them around so both side cook dipped in the sauce.
Step 4 – In the meantime, clean the shallots and make them boil for 5 minutes. Then drain them and fry them with the remaining lard. When they are golden, add some salt and a pinch of sugar. Then add a bit of stock and cook at low heat to reduce the liquid and let the onions cook and get golden.
Step 5 – Once the partridges are cooked, add the Ombar chocolate diluted into a bit of sauce from the casserole. Then add the shallots. As a last minute twist, to make the dish richer I added some white mushrooms, also cooked in red wine, to the sauce. Feel free to do the same or add other veggies of your choice.
Step 6 – Adjust for salt and cook for a little longer till the sauce is reduced a little. You can serve it in the casserole if you used a terracotta one. I recommend you serve this dish the day after you cook it. The meat will be settled and will come apart more easily, the sauce will become thick and intense, the whole dish will have a more uniform taste. Buon appetito and happy belated chocolate week!