This is a very old, traditional Cape recipe. If you cannot find francolin (pheasant), use free-range chicken.
For the pie
250 ml (1 c) boiling water
250 ml (1 c) dry white wine
5 allspice berries
2 bay leaves
10 ml (2 t) salt
2,5 ml (½ t) freshly ground black pepper
2,5 ml (½ t) coarsely ground coriander
125 ml (½ c) lemon juice
15 ml (1 T) brown sugar
vinegar to taste
a grating of nutmeg
For the batter blanket
250 ml (1 c) sunflower oil
15 ml (1 T) baking powder
125 ml (½ c) milk
180 ml (¾ c) flour
1,25 ml (¼ t) salt
Make sure the francolins have been properly plucked.* Sear off any down still remaining by holding the carcass over a gas flame.
Cut the francolins into pieces and place in a heavy-base pot. Add all the other ingredients, except the vinegar and nutmeg.
Heat and stew until the meat is falling off the bone. Lift out all the bones.
Cut the larger pieces of meat fine, such as the breast meat. Add the vinegar bit by bit, just a tablespoon at a time. Taste it. Is it sour enough? Salt enough? Grate over a little nutmeg.
Now you can make the batter blanket.
Beat all the ingredients together until they are all properly mixed and no lumps have formed.
Place the cooked francolin along with the sauce it cooked in, in a pastry dish and pour over the batter blanket.
Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 180 °C.
Michael’s wine recommendation – click here
I have known Dine van Zyl for a number of years, her father was the legendary Pon van Zyl for years the revered winemaker at Robertson Winery. Dine, in my view is a National Living Treasure – a multi awarded exponent of her craft. She is a much-awarded multi-media person, publisher and writer, broadcaster and television personality – her programme “Boerekos met Dine van Zyl” is well worth watching.
She is a leading South African repository of knowledge of Boerekos. Her books, apart from two works of fiction, are all about Boerekos, from her first publication Potjiekos, an enchanting and informative little book, to her magnum opus Die Groot Boerekosboek, in two volumes and available in English.
Dine lives in Rooi Els with her husband Graham and their fur children.
Do visit her website. You can buy her books there, and sign up for her fabulous, highly person weekly newsletter, which always starts my weekend off the right way – thinking of food.