A delicious winter-warmer dish taken from The Hairy Bikers Meat Feasts book.
A cobbler can be sweet or savoury and has a crust made of a scone-like mixture that’s placed on top of the filling like little cobblestones. Venison is well worth trying for this as it’s a good healthy meat – lean and low in fat, but with plenty of flavour.
You’ll need a 2-litre pie dish and a 6cm pastry cutter when making this recipe.
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/ Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
2. Heat the oil in a flameproof casserole dish and fry the onions, celery and carrot gently for 10 minutes, or until the onion is softened and lightly coloured. Stir occasionally.
3. Add the flour and mustard and cook for a few seconds, then slowly stir in the ale or stout and 250ml of water. Add the venison, redcurrant jelly, thyme and bay leaves, then stir. Season with a little salt and lots of black pepper. Bring to a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, then cover the casserole dish with a lid. Transfer the dish to the oven and cook for 1¾–2 hours, or until the venison is very tender and the sauce is thick.
4. Season to taste and add a little lemon juice to lift the richness. At this point you can cool the venison mixture and keep it in the fridge to finish off later, or the next day if you like.
5. When you’re ready to cook your cobbler, spoon the venison mixture into an ovenproof pie dish. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6.
6. To make the cobbler topping, put the flour and salt in a bowl and rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. Add the milk, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes together and forms a soft, spongy dough.
7. Turn the dough out on to a floured work surface and roll it out to about 2cm thick. Cut out 6cm rounds with a pastry cutter, kneading and re-rolling any leftover dough as necessary.
8. Place the ‘cobbles’ over the filling so they nearly cover it and brush them with beaten egg. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden-brown and the filling is hot.