Venison and Mushroom Pasties

For a stylish take on the traditional Cornish pasty, try Sophie Grigson's luxurious version stuffed with venison and mushroom
By Sophie Grigson
Venison and Mushroom Pasties
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus 30 mins chilling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

main

  • 300 g haunch or fillet of venison steaks
  • 150 g fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 clove garlic, chopped
  • 60 ml red wine
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 heaped tbsp parsley, chopped
  • black pepper
  • 350 g sweet curry pastry dough
  • 150 g potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch of watercress
  • 1/2 pear, cored and thinly sliced
  • juice of 1/2 lemons
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper

Method

1. To make the filling, begin by trimming fine grey skin and sinews from the venison, then cut it into 2cm cubes.

2. Remove the stalks from the shiitake and discard, as they can be tough. Cut the caps in half, and then slice thickly.

3. Heat the butter and sunflower oil in a heavy-based frying pan. Add in the onion and fry gently, stirring now and then, until translucent.

4. Add in the garlic and shiitake mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms are tender, around 3-5 minutes.

5. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and pour in the red wine.

6. Bring up to the boil, and then cook until the liquid has all evaporated leaving a moist mixture of onion and mushroom. Allow to cool.

7. In a bowl, mix together the shiitake mushroom mixture with the venison, juniper, and parsley and more salt and freshly ground pepper.

8. Divide the pastry into four, and roll each piece out large enough to cut out a 20-21cm circle, using a side-plate as a template.

9. Arrange a quarter of the potato in the centre of each one in an oval shape. Pile a quarter of the filling over each lot of potato, moulding it to cover the potato. Dampen the edges around one half of the pastry with a little of the egg glaze, then bring both sides up over the filling, crimping the edges firmly together to form the characteristic pasty shape.

10. Place the pasties on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment. Rest in the fridge for another half an hour.

11. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas mark 7. Brush with pasties with beaten egg yolk and bake for 15 minutes.

12. Reduce the heat to 170°C/gas 3.

13. Leave the pasties to cook for another hour, but check regularly and cover with foil if the pastry is browning too rapidly.

14. Shortly before the pasties are ready to serve prepare the salad. Toss together the watercress, pear, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

15. Serve the pasties hot, warm or cold with the salad on the side.

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