Venison en Croute with Winter Vegetables

Elspeth McNaughton wraps venison fillets in mushrooms and haggis in this very Scottish dish
Venison en Croute with Winter Vegetables
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3-4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 1 hr chilling for the dough
  • Effort: medium


For the pastry

  • 225 g plain flour
  • 115 g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg

For the filling

  • 1x400 g roe deer fillet
  • 25 g butter
  • 115 g chestnut mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 2 small shallots, finely chopped
  • 75-115 g haggis, preferably venison haggis
  • 25 g fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 25 g fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 2-3 tbsp gin
  • milk, for glazing

To serve

  • parsnips
  • carrots
  • new potatoes


1. For the pastry: put the flour and butter in a food processor and mix until blended and crumbly. Add the egg and process until you have a ball of smooth dough; wrap this in cling film and put it in the fridge for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 200ÂșC / gas 6.

3. For the filling: heat a heavy-based frying pan over a high heat until it is very hot. Add the roe fillet and brown for 2 minutes on each side. Season it with salt and pepper and set it aside.

4. Melt the butter in the same pan over a medium-high heat and fry the mushrooms and shallots until they are soft. Crumble in the haggis and add the sage and thyme. Cook this mixture for a few minutes, before adding the gin. Remove the pan from the heat and leave it to cool. Put the roe fillet on a board and spread the cooled mixture on top.

5. Roll out the chilled pastry dough on a lightly floured board into a piece about 2 mm thick and slightly longer about 5 mm than the length of the fillet; it should be wide enough to go around it. Dampen the edges of the pastry with milk and carefully put the fillet in the centre. Bring the long edges of the pastry up on top of the fillet and wrap it like a parcel, sealing the pastry well; seal the ends together. Roll the pastry-covered fillet over so that the long join is underneath. Use any dough trimmings to decorate the top and brush with milk.

6. Place the pastry-wrapped fillet on a baking tray and roast for 25 minutes until the pastry is browned. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

7. Serve with roasted root vegetables.

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