Venison and wild mushroom pies

Serve the filling as a stew with plenty of buttery mashed potatoes to ring the changes in this recipe provided by Highland Game
Venison and wild mushroom pies
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes plus 30 minutes chilling
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 30 minutes plus overnight cooling
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

Main

  • 1 kg venison, diced
  • 50 g dried wild mushrooms, such as a mixture of porcini and trompettes de mort
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onions, finely chopped
  • 3 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 125 g pancetta or bacon, cut into lardons
  • 8 juniper berries, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped thyme
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp rowan or redcurrant jelly
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 60 g ready-rolled puff pastry
  • 1 eggs, beaten

Method

1. Place the dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with hot water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.

2. Heat half the oil in a large casserole, add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery, and cook for 5-10 minutes until softened. Stir in the pancetta and fry with the vegetables until just beginning to brown. Add the juniper, bay leaves and thyme, sprinkle in the flour, mix well, and set aside.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan and (working in batches) quickly fry the venison on all sides until crusty and brown. Tip the browned meat into the casserole as you go. When done, deglaze the frying pan with the wine, allow to bubble and scrape up the sediment on the bottom of the pan. Pour over the meat and vegetables.

4. Strain the mushrooms and add to the casserole with 150ml of the soaking water and the rowan or redcurrant jelly. Season really well and give the whole a good stir. Bring to the boil on top of the stove then simmer for 1 1/2 hours until tender. Leave overnight to cool.

5. Next day, spoon the stew into six individual pie dishes. Cut out six circles of pastry, a good inch wider than the rims of the dishes. Brush the rims with beaten egg. Sit the pastry on top and press over the edge to seal tightly. Brush the tops of the pies with more beaten egg, then make a couple of slits at the centre of the pastry. Set the pies on a couple of baking sheets and chill for 30 minutes or until ready to bake.

6. Bake at 220C/gas 7 for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is risen, crisp and golden brown. Serve hot.

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