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Pheasant pastilla

By February 09, 2018 , , ,

I love Moroccan flavours and this dish is an interesting one from the flavour combination perspective. It's a mix of sweet and savoury which works well with the gamey flavour of pheasant and would also work well with guinea fowl. Traditionally it's made with pigeon, but I decided to go for a stronger flavour with pheasant which marries well with the sweet element of the dates.

For the pheasant braise
2 pheasant legs
2 onions finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves finely chopped
2g dried ginger
5 strands of saffron
2cm piece of cinnamon
6 dates roughly chopped
200ml chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

To finish
1 egg beaten
70g almonds whizzed in a food processor until they form a rough powder
Filo pastry
Melted butter around 150g

In a cast iron pan, fry off the onions and garlic on a low heat until soft and glossy
Add the rest of the ingredients for the braise and simmer for 50 minutes on a low heat until the meat starts to come away from the bones easily
Remove the pheasant and place to one side to cool
Reduce the stock on a high heat until it has reached about half it's volume, lower the heat and add the almonds to thicken the mix
Once the stock mix has cooled slightly, add the beaten egg and stir through
Remove the meat from the bones on the pheasant legs, break into small pieces and stir through the stock mix
Season with salt and pepper and place to one side to cool

To assemble the pie
Brush the sheets of filo with butter to stop them from drying out
In a shallow pie dish start to layer the filo so it covers the bottom of the dish and overlaps over the side, this will take 2 or three sheets
Add the meat and stock mix to the pie dish and ensure there it is layered evenly
Fold over the overlapping filo ensuring it covers the top
If the top is not quite covered add another sheet of buttered filo
Place in the oven at 190c (fan) 200c (normal) for 40 minutes until the pastry is nice and brown
For those of you cooking on the BBQ, set the BBQ up for indirect cooking at 200c and cook as instructed above

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