No sooner has Christmas finished than it’s Valentine’s Day. Chocolates, flowers and even a diamond or two are all acceptable gifts, but how’s about dinner for two with a touch of the exotic? Wild and Game for Valentine’s could be the solution.
Bastilla is a unique pie from Morocco. It’s traditionally made with pigeon, and these are available from Wild and Game, but this is an excellent pie when made with their partridges.
1 tbsp olive oil
2 roasted Wild and Game partridges
1 knob of butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground ginger (not fresh root ginger)
½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground turmeric
pinch of saffron
250ml chicken stock
3 large eggs, beaten
40g ground almonds
1 tsp finely grated orange zest
4 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
salt and freshly ground black pepper
30g butter, melted
4-6 large sheets filo pastry
1 egg, beaten, to glaze
Cinnamon and icing sugar, to finish
Remove the partridge meat from the carcass and legs, and chop; set aside.
Heat the oil and knob of butter in a large frying pan. Add the onions and sauté until soft. Add the garlic and spices (you can adjust quantities to suit your taste) and fry for a couple more minutes. Add the stock and simmer till reduced by half.
Add the eggs to the cooking liquid and stir over a low heat until it resembles loose-textured scrambled eggs. Add the ground almonds and meat, and stir in the orange zest and coriander. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/Gas 4.
To assemble the pie, use a round Victoria sponge tin, well-oiled, with a circle of baking parchment to fit in the bottom.
Brush a sheet of filo with melted butter. Drape it over the dish, gently pushing it into the corners of the tin without tearing it. Repeat with another sheet of filo, placing it at right angles to the first. Repeat with a further 2 sheets of filo, placing them on a diagonal angle to cover the whole tin.
Spread the cooled filling over the pastry. Fold over the overhanging filo to cover the edge of the pie. Brush remaining filo with melted butter, then cover the pie with the pastry, making several layers. Tuck the edges under the pie and gently press down to ensure the filo package touches the sides of the tin.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until crisp and brown. Leave to cool a little before dusting it with the icing sugar and cinnamon.
Serve with a green salad and slices of orange, candles and a bottle of fizz.