A crown-like tart filled with game is a fantastic addition to the Christmas spread. Serve for a light supper or as part of the festive menu

Add game to your festive spread with Philippa Davis’ partridge, parsnip, sweet onion and gruyere crostata. This crown-like tart will look positively majestic on the Christmas table. And it’s a great opportunity to encourage uninitiated guests to try game for the first time.

If you are looking for more light lunches to serve a full and hungry house this Christmas, try our potato, apple and horseradish rosti. It makes the perfect lazy brunch.


Game should be part of all our Christmas spreads; here it is found served in a crown-like tart with lots of vegetables and cheese. Great for lunch, a light supper or as part of your Christmas menu.

Serves 6 for lunch


  • 150g plain flour
  • 75g wholemeal flour
  • 170g cold butter, grated (use the large side of a cheese grater)
  • 60ml sour cream
  • Juice ½ a lemon
  • 30ml chilled water


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 partridges
  • 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
  • 250g peeled parsnip, chopped into
  • 1cm cubes
  • 3 tsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tsp ground caraway
  • 150g shiitake mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 150ml water
  • 130g cooked and chopped cavolo nero
  • 130g Gruyère, plus 2 tbsp extra (or I sometimes use a mix of whatever cheese I have in the fridge)
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

Pre-heat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

The pastry is easiest done in a food processor. Mix the two flours, pulse in the butter, then the sour cream, lemon juice and finally the water; it should form a ball.

Press into a disk, wrap in cling film and chill for one hour.

For the filling, in a saucepan on a medium heat, sauté the onion and partridge in the olive oil until starting to take colour, stirring and turning regularly. Add the parsnip, thyme and caraway, and season. Sauté for a few more minutes then add the mushrooms and water.

Place on a lid and cook on a low heat for 40 minutes. Leave to cool slightly then shred the meat.

Mix the shredded meat, vegetables, cavolo nero and 130g cheese together and season.

Lightly flour a large piece of baking paper and roll the pastry into a 35cm circle.

Smear the mustard onto the bottom of the pastry then place the filling in the middle, leaving a 4cm to 5cm edge of pastry.

Fold the pastry lip over the filling in sections then brush with egg.

Sprinkle the extra cheese on top and bake for 40 minutes, or until golden. It is best served warm.