Start by making the pastry. Blend 50g cold butter with 100g plain flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 15g caster sugar and 25g chopped, toasted hazelnuts and then bring the pastry together with one small egg. Persevere it will get there in the end but you can add a little cold water if you think it needs it. Wrap the pastry in cling film and chill in the fridge for half an hour. I would recommend making the pastry when you’re as sure as you can be that the phone won’t ring and the doorbell won’t go because otherwise there’ll be pastry all over the place.
Preparing the meat can be as difficult or easy as you like. Valentine’s Day brings out our flirtatious side and, not that I would advocate it of course, projecting a little of this new found eyelash fluttering on your butcher may result in your chosen cut being prepared for you. I’m not sure it would work with your greengrocer though. I used brisket for mine which needed a fair bit of trimming and preparing but I quite like doing that.
This is the first of a three part post for Valentine’s Day. It’s designed to be seasonal, sumptuous, divine and stress free. The quantities are meant for two. The dessert is one that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge; the main is meant for long cooking so you have ample time to make the simple starter. All this spare time means you’re not rushing around desperately trying find that Barry White CD at the last minute. After all, it’s your Valentine’s dinner too.