Easy venison pie
Make a venison pie packed with pancetta, mushrooms and red wine, topped with golden puff pastry. It's cooked low and slow for beautifully tender meat
- Serves: 6 persons
- 10 ½tbsp sunflower oil
- 1kg diced venison
- 100g smoked bacon lardons, pancetta or chopped smoked streaky bacon
- 2onions, roughly chopped
- 2bay leaves
- 200g chestnut mushrooms, quartered, or baby chestnut mushrooms, halved
- 3tbsp plain flour
- 1tbsp ketchup
- 150ml red wine or dark ale (optional)
- 2beef stock cubes mixed with 600ml boiling water
- 1egg yolk, beaten (freeze the white for another recipe)
- 375g sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry
Step 1Heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole, brown the venison well in batches for 10 mins over a high heat, then set aside. Scatter the bacon into the pan with another ½ tbsp oil and sizzle for 8-10 mins until golden. Stir through the onions and bay leaves, drizzling with the remaining oil, and cook over a low heat for 5 mins until browned. Lower the heat to medium, then add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes more until softened.
Step 2Scatter over the flour, stirring until the flour turns brown. Tip the meat and any juices back into the pan along with the ketchup and give it all a good stir. Pour over the wine or ale, if using, and bring to the boil. Bubble for a few minutes, then pour over the stock. Season and bring to a simmer. Cover with a lid and put in the oven for about 2 hrs until the meat is tender. Will keep chilled for three days or frozen for up to three months. Leave to cool completely first. Defrost in a fridge overnight before reheating thoroughly in a microwave or pan until the meat is piping hot.
Step 3To make the pie, heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Tip the filling into a 24-26cm rimmed pie dish and brush the rim of the dish with some of the egg yolk. Unravel the pastry, drape it over the dish and use a knife to trim and press against the rim. Re-roll the trimmings to make a decoration, if you like. Will keep covered and frozen for up to three months. Defrost fully before continuing with step three.
Step 4Brush the pie with the remaining egg yolk and season with sea salt flakes, if you like. Make a few little slits in the centre of the pie to allow the steam to escape, and bake for 30-35 mins until deep golden.