There’s not much I like about this time of year. It’s getting colder, the days are getting shorter, and I am full of man flu! But, there is a silver lining and that’s seasonal comfort food. I give you venison pie, packed with deep, rich flavours and chunky meat, perfect for evenings in, in front of a roaring fire!
Venison is one of my favourite meats, I will always order it if I see it on a menu. Richer than beef, it can stand up to some really good flavour pairings, especially fruit as this will help lift the gaminess of the meat. It’s also a very lean meat, so much healthier than other red meats. In this recipe, I have used cherries and port as a basis for the venison pie filling to give a subtle sweetness throughout the dish. Root vegetables enhance the earthy flavours.
I chose to top the pie with a shortcrust pastry. Usually I would shy away from using shortcrust, but the filling is so robust that it works really well. Shortcrust is also super easy to make at home so it really will be a 100% homemade pie.
This is a great dish to cook during a Sunday. Long, slow cooking really gets the flavours into this dish. Once you’ve prepped the fruit and veg, you can pretty much sit back and let it do it’s magic. Don’t be put of by the time it takes to cook this, it’s simple cooking and you will end up with a beautifully tasty venison pie.
Serve up with green seasonal veg and why not pair with my Roast Potatoes with Garlic, Herbs and Parmesan or my Loaded Sweet Potato Dauphinoise? For another pie dish, check out my Chicken, Chorizo and Manchego Pie!
Keep leftovers in the fridge and heat back up for an easy weeknight dinner.
For the venison pie filling
- 600g venison steak (diced)
- 2 carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- 2 parsnips
- 250g chestnut mushrooms
- 2 red onions
- 400g cherries
- 200ml port
- 1 litre beef stock
- 1 bunch of thyme
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 500ml beef stock
- salt and pepper
For the pastry
- 250g plain flour
- 125g salted butter (cubed)
- pinch of salt
- 1 beaten egg
First off, prep all of the veg and fruit, this will save you time in the long run I promise! Half and stone the cherries, and peel and chop the veg in to bite size pieces. Tie the thyme and parsley together with some kitchen string (so it’s easy to fish out at the end).There, thats the hard work done!
Take a large casserole pot and heat a small amount of oil of a medium high heat. Season the diced venison well with salt and pepper and add to the pan to sear. This will take around 5 minutes. You are looking to get colour all over the pieces of venison. When done, remove the venison pieces (leaving any juices in the pan) and put to one side.
Put the cherries into the pan and add the port. Bring to the boil and then let simmer until it is reduced by half, this will take 10-15mins.
Add in all of the veg, the herbs, cinnamon sticks and 1 litre of beef stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and pop the lid on. Leave to simmer for 90 minutes.
After 90 minutes, add the venison meat and the 500ml of beef stock. Pop the lid back on and cook for a further 90 minutes.
While you are waiting for the venison pie filling, you can make the pastry. Put all the ingredients into a large bowl and rub the butter in to the flour using your hands until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and mix in so that it forms a dough. You may need to add slightly more water if its not holding together. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and put in the fridge until ready to use.
Once the pie filling ready (it should still be moist, but not have a lot of runny liquid, so keep an eye on it), take it off of the heat and fish out the herbs and cinnamon sticks. Spoon the mixture into a pie dish.
Take the pastry out of the fridge and roll out (using a sprinkle of plain flour to stop it sticking) until it is the thickness of a £1 coin. Brush a little beaten egg around the edges of the pie dish and gently lay the pastry over the top. Press the edges down and trim the overhanging pastry.
Pierce the pastry several times with a fork and then sprinkle over generous pinches of slat and pepper. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg and put in the fridge for half an hour.
Pre heat the oven to 200º.
When ready, take the pie out of the fridge, brush again with beaten egg and then put in the oven for around 40 minutes until the pastry is a golden brown.