Venison and Mushroom Pasty

Sophie Grigson makes perfect autumn picnic fare with a venison, shitake mushroom and juniper pasty
By Sophie Grigson
Venison and Mushroom Pasty
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus chilling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 500 g plain flour
  • 160 g butter
  • 60 g lard
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten, to glaze

For the filling

  • 300 g haunch or fillet of venison steaks
  • 150 g shiitake mushrooms
  • 20 g butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 60 ml red wine
  • 10 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 heaped tbsp chopped parsley
  • 150 g potatoes, thinly sliced

Method

1. For the pastry: mix the flour with a pinch of salt, then rub in the butter and lard until it resembles breadcrumbs.

2. Add just enough cold water to mix to a soft, but not sticky, dough. Wrap in foil or cling film and chill for at least half an hour. Bring back to just under room temperature before rolling out.

3. For the filling: begin by trimming fine grey skin and sinews from the meat, then cut into 2cm cubes. Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and discard. Cut the ceps in half, then slice thickly.

4. Heat the butter and oil in a pan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic and mushrooms and fry until the mushrooms are tender.

5. Season with salt and pepper and pour in the wine. Bring up to the boil, then cook until the liquid has all evaporated leaving a moist mixture of onion and mushroom. Cool and mix with the venison, juniper, parsley and more salt and pepper.

6. Line a baking sheet with non-stick baking parchment. Divide the pastry into four, and roll each piece out large enough to cut out a 20-21cm circle (use a side plate as a guide).

7. Arrange a quarter of the potato in the centre of each one in an oval shape. Pile the filling on top of the potato, moulding it to cover the potato.

8. 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. Rest in the fridge for another half an hour.

9. Preheat the oven to 220C/gas 7.

10. Brush the pasties with egg, then bake for 15 minutes, before reducing the heat to 170C/gas 3 and baking for another hour - check regularly and cover with foil if the pastry is browning too rapidly. Serve hot, warm or cold with chutney.

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