Poached duck, wild garlic and pea bastilla


Don’t be put off by the lengthy prep time here - most of that is just the duck poaching. This is such a lovely spring/summer pie and delicious hot or cold. 

Servings - 6

1 duck, 1½ - 2 kg

100ml brandy

5 garlic cloves

2 bay leaves

1 star anise


1 white onion, chopped

juice of an orange

75g wild garlic, chopped (keeping back any white flowers)

150g peas, cooked and drained

handful of watercress

50g ground walnuts

zest of a lemon

2 tbsp creme fraiche

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp honey

250g filo pastry 

100ml olive oil

1 tbsp plain flour

1 tbsp icing sugar


24cm springform cake tin


Sit the duck in a large pot, cover with cold water, add the brandy, garlic, bay leaves, star anise and season well. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 1½ -2 hours until the legs pull away easily. Lift the duck out, save 500ml of the stock, leave both to cool. 


Skim off and discard the fat from the saved stock, then pour into a pan. Add the chopped onion and orange juice, boil rapidly to reduce to approx 100ml.


Tear the duck meat into a large bowl. Mix with the wild garlic, peas, watercress, ground walnuts, lemon zest, creme fraiche, extra virgin olive oil, honey, and the onions in their reduced stock. Season.


Brush the cake tin with oil and dust with flour. Lay one sheet of filo in the base, overhanging the sides. Brush it with oil then lay another sheet of filo on top, going crossways to cover the other sides of the tin. Oil and repeat with two more sheets. Fill with the duck mix. Fold over the overhanging filo sheets to make a lid. Lay 2 or 3 more sheets over the top, brushing each with oil as you go, scrunching them to fit.


Bake for 30 mins, then release the tin sides and turn the pie over onto a baking tray. Return to the oven for 5 mins to dry out the base. Turn onto a serving dish and decorate with dusted icing sugar and any held-back wild garlic flowers.

(This recipe originally featured for Borough Market.)

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