Partan Pie - one of the best uses for Worcestershire sauce known to wo/man!
OK, so what is Partan Pie?
Well, it is crab with a few spices which need to be used judiciously. It is a classic Scottish way of serving crab,hot and as a main dish. Follow it or precede by a salad or serve with a salad and plain boiled new potatoes.
You want a recipe - sorry but that is impossible as it depends on the weight and size of the crab and your ability to season the crab to your taste and that of your guests. I can give you a method for this classic, Scottish dish - but not EXACT quantities.
Now there are two predominant flavours in the dish - the first is that of the crab - sweet and fishy, and the second is that of the combined spices - hot and rounded due to the Worc.sauce which is an aged product. The crab flavour should remain predominant and the spices plead on the first bite to be more - by the last bite they will be happy to secondary. Sorry folks, but this is the only way I can use to describe the dish using crab, mustard (smooth French Dijon Mustard), cayenne pepper, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce and a touch of breadcrumbs and dots of butter!
The crabs should be boiled and cooled. All the meat - white and brown should be removed and set aside until ready to make the dish. Refrigerate the crab meat if necessary. The shell(s) should be prepared as for a dressed crab, washed and set aside.
When you are ready to make the dish, rub the crab shell with a piece of kitchen paper dipped in flavourless oil. Place on a baking tray and place in a low oven to heat through.
Have ready breadcrumbs and very small cubes of butter (could do these in the morning).
Place beside your cooker a pot of smooth French mustard, jar of cayenne pepper, bottle of Worcesterchire sauce, salt and pepper. Melt butter - maybe about 30 to 50 gms per whole crab and gently sauté the crab meat - and lots of teaspoons for tasting. Add mustard, pinches of cayenne and dashes or Worc. by degrees to the sautéed (in butter) crab to flavour the dish without over powering the flavour of the crab. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning. As I`ve said it is impossible to give exact quantities of the seasoning. If making a Partan pie with a 2 lb crab (prior to boiling) one might add 1/2 level teaspoon mustard (smooth French) before adding Worc. sauce (4-6 drops) and then see if it needs cayenne pepper.
Place the seasoned, hot crab meat in the shell or divide the meat between the heated shells. Top with breadcrumbs and dots of butter. Flash under a grill until the breadcrumbs are browned and serve.
All the best,