Old-school venison pie with juniper, rosemary & bay

Venison Pie

Serves 4-6

  • olive oil

  • 3 medium red onions, peeled and sliced

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped

  • 2 sticks celery, trimmed and chopped

  • 4 field mushrooms, peeled

  • 1 kg quality stewing venison, cut into 2cm cubes

  • a few sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves picked and chopped

  • a few sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked

  • a few fresh bay leaves

  • sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 5-6 juniper berries, bashed in a pestle and mortar

  • 500 ml ale, preferably Scottish

  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour

  • 350 g ready-made all-butter puff pastry

  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large ovenproof pan, on a low heat. Add the chopped onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes until nice and sweet. Don't let it colour too much. Turn the heat up, then add the garlic, butter, carrot and celery, and the mushrooms, roughly torn up. Mix everything together before stirring in the venison, chopped rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of pepper and the bashed-up juniper berries.



Fry everything quickly for 3 or 4 minutes, then pour in the ale. Stir in the flour and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, pop the lid on and place in the oven for about 2½ hours, giving it a stir from time to time.



The perfect pie filling should have tender meat in a rich, dark, thick stew. So if, when you remove it from the oven, it's still quite liquidy, place the pan on the hob and reduce for 15 minutes or so until it thickens up a bit.



Evenly roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is the thickness of a pound coin. Tip the stew in the pie dish and place the pastry on top of the pie.



Criss-cross the top of the pastry lightly with a sharp knife. Brush the top with beaten egg.



Pop the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is well cooked, puffed-up and golden - then tuck in and enjoy!

Nutritional Information

Old-school venison pie with juniper, rosemary & bay

With a golden puff pastry lid

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After all these years, a beautifully rich venison pie with mushrooms still gets my pulse racing
Serves 4-6
4h 15m
Super easy
Method

This is a beautiful pie and the kind of dish that makes me dream of good home cooking. We're filling the pie with venison, which will cook to be delicious, tender and sumptuous. After all these years of cooking, a meal like this still gets my pulse racing. For a bit of a treat, use 500g of pastry and line the bottom of the pie dish - just make sure you cook it at the bottom of the oven so the pastry has a chance to crisp up.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large ovenproof pan, on a low heat. Add the chopped onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes until nice and sweet. Don't let it colour too much. Turn the heat up, then add the garlic, butter, carrot and celery, and the mushrooms, roughly torn up. Mix everything together before stirring in the venison, chopped rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of pepper and the bashed-up juniper berries.

Fry everything quickly for 3 or 4 minutes, then pour in the ale. Stir in the flour and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer, pop the lid on and place in the oven for about 2½ hours, giving it a stir from time to time.

The perfect pie filling should have tender meat in a rich, dark, thick stew. So if, when you remove it from the oven, it's still quite liquidy, place the pan on the hob and reduce for 15 minutes or so until it thickens up a bit.

Evenly roll out the pastry on a floured surface until it is the thickness of a pound coin. Tip the stew in the pie dish and place the pastry on top of the pie.

Criss-cross the top of the pastry lightly with a sharp knife. Brush the top with beaten egg.

Pop the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the pastry is well cooked, puffed-up and golden - then tuck in and enjoy!

Nutritional Information Amount per serving:
  • Calories 596 30%
  • Carbs 38.5g 15%
  • Sugar 12.2g 14%
  • Fat 23.6g 34%
  • Saturates 12.3g 62%
  • Protein 42.1g 94%
Of an adult's reference intake

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BUYING SUSTAINABLY SOURCED FISH

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Buying sustainably sourced fish means buying fish that has been caught without endangering the levels of fish stocks and with the protection of the environment in mind. Wild fish caught in areas where stocks are plentiful are sustainably sourced, as are farmed fish that are reared on farms proven to cause no harm to surrounding seas and shores.

When buying either wild or farmed fish, ask whether it is sustainably sourced. If you're unable to obtain this information, don't be afraid to shop elsewhere – only by shopping sustainably can we be sure that the fantastic selection of fish we enjoy today will be around for future generations.

For further information about sustainably sourced fish, please refer to the useful links below:

Marine Stewardship Council
http://www.msc.org/

Fish Online
http://www.fishonline.org

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