Old-school venison pie with juniper, rosemary and bay

With a golden puff pastry lid

Old-school venison pie with juniper, rosemary and bay

Old-school venison pie with juniper, rosemary and bay

Serves Serves 4
Time Cooks In4 hours 15 minutes
DifficultySuper easy
Nutrition per serving Plus
  • Calories 596 30%
  • Fat 23.6g 34%
  • Saturates 12.3g 62%
  • Sugars 12.2g 14%
  • Salt 1.78g 30%
  • Protein 42.1g 84%
  • Carbs 38.5g 15%
  • Fibre 5.5g -
Of an adult's reference intake
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  • olive oil
  • 3 medium red onions
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 4 field mushrooms
  • 1 kg quality stewing venison
  • a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 5-6 juniper berries
  • a few fresh bay leaves
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 500 ml ale , preferably Scottish
  • 1 heaped tablespoon plain flour , plus extra for dusting
  • 350 g ready-made all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 large free-range egg
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  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.
  2. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large ovenproof pan on a low heat. Peel and slice the onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes until nice and sweet. Don’t let them colour too much.
  3. Meanwhile, peel and chop the garlic and carrots, and trim and chop the celery.
  4. Turn the heat up, then add the butter, garlic, carrot and celery. Peel, roughly tear up and add the mushrooms. Mix everything together.
  5. Cut the venison into 2cm cubes, pick and chop the rosemary leaves and bash the juniper berries in a pestle and mortar. Stir in the venison, rosemary, bashed-up juniper berries and bay leaves. Pick in the thyme leaves and add a pinch of sea salt and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Criss-cross the top of the pastry lightly with a sharp knife. Brush the top with beaten egg.
  10. 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!