On Monday night, the BBC Good Food hub team, (with help from Chelsie’s boyfriend – superman Rob) cooked a one night only pop up at Carousel. This event, to celebrate the relaunch of the magazine and raise money for Children in Need was electric. We all pulled together as a team and it was a honour to be a part of it, cooking for some of the best people in the industry.
One of the highlights of the menu was Barney’s lamb dish which was a homage to one of the best spring ingredients – wild garlic. Available from March to the end of May, it grows all around the country but thrives in woodland areas. A larger demand for it means you can now also buy it at farmers markets or from larger seasonal suppliers. Like British asparagus it is one of our most cherished ingredients, so in celebration of spring this is a recipe for a Wild Garlic and Pancetta Tart.
Wild Garlic and Pancetta Tart (Makes 1 tart- serves 6-8)
FOR THE PASTRY
250g plain flour
140g cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 large egg yolks, 2 for the pastry itself and 1 for glazing
4 tbsp Parmesan, finely grated
FOR THE FILLING
1 tbsp olive oil
200g thick cut pancetta, cut into lardons
2 banana shallots, finely diced
75g wild garlic leaves
3 large eggs and 1 egg yolk
175ml double cream
175ml whole milk
50g gruyere, finely grated
First make your pastry. The easiest way to do this is in a food processor. Blitz the flour with the butter and a pinch of sat until it resembles ground almonds then pour in 2 egg yolks, Parmesan and 1 tbsp cold water and blitz again. Once the pastry has just come together, tip out onto a clean surface, shape into a disc, cover with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for 20 mins to rest.
If making by hand, rub the flour, pinch of salt and butter together in a large bowl using your fingertips. Once fully incorporated and the texture of ground almonds, stir in your Parmesan then pour in your egg yolks with 1-2 tbsp of water and bring the pastry together with a cutlery knife. Shape into a disc, cover and put in the fridge for 20 mins.
Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and line a 20 cm tart tin. Place the lined tart case back in the fridge for a further 20 mins until it sets hard.
Whilst the pastry case is chilling preheat the oven to 200.c/180 Fan/Gas Mark 6 and make a start on the filling. In a frying pan heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the pancetta and shallots and fry, stirring occasionally for 8-10 mins until crisp then set aside.
Meanwhile fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Plunge your wild garlic leaves into the boiling water for 30 seconds until just wilted. Drain and run under cold water until completely cool then squeeze the leaves of all excess moisture and roughly chop.
Take the hardened pastry case out of the fridge, cover with baking parchment then fill with baking beans or rice. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15 mins or until the sides of the tart are stable. Remove the baking parchment and beans then brush the bottom of the pastry with the remaining egg yolk and return to the oven for a further 10 mins until golden brown. Brushing with egg yolk will hopefully stop the tart from leaking once the filling has been added.
Once the pastry is cooked reduce the heat to 180.c/160 Fan/Gas Mark 4.
In a large bowl mix together the eggs, cream, milk and some seasoning. Stir in the cooked pancetta, shallot and wild garlic. Pour the filling into the tart case then top with the grated cheese. Bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 mins until the filling has just set, is deep golden in colour, smells and looks delicious.
Serve warm or at room temperature with a big green salad and some roasted new potatoes. Enjoy.
TIP- You may need to use more liquid when making the pastry by hand to account for the efficiency of the machine.
TIP- If you can’t get hold of wild garlic use a bag of baby spinach, cooked in the same way and a couple of cloves of crushed garlic, added to the egg and cream.