Venison Pie

Make a change from beef by trying this delicious venison pie, full of classic bourguignon flavours, adapted from the Good Housekeeping website.
Serves 6
  1. In a large pan or casserole dish over a medium heat, fry the pancetta (or bacon) and shallots for 10min. Scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Season the venison well. Fry in 2 batches, using 1tbsp oil for each, until evenly browned all over. Return all meat to pan.
  2. Add the garlic, juniper berries and allspice for 1min until fragrant. Add flour for another minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Return pancetta (or bacon) and shallots to pan with mushrooms. Pour in wine and stock; add herbs. Bring to the boil, reduce temperature to low, partially cover and simmer for 3hr. Once tender, stir in the chestnuts, remove from
  4. the heat and set aside to cool completely. Remove the bay leaf and thyme twigs and discard.
  5. Spoon the cold filling into a 1.3 litre (2¼ pint) pie dish with a rim, mounding it slightly in the centre and adding enough liquid to come just below the pie rim.
  6. Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured surface to £1-coin thickness. Cut off a few strips to fit around the pie dish rim. Brush rim lightly with water, press pastry strips on to rim and brush with the egg. Use a rolling pin to lift the remaining pastry over the pie. Trim away excess, cutting downwards against the edge of the rim. Reserve trimmings. Tap the blade of a sharp knife against the edge of the pastry, separating the pastry layers slightly: this encourages the layers to ‘puff’. Scallop the pie edge with the back of your knife and finger. Brush lightly all over with beaten egg. Pastry trimmings can be used to decorate pie top; brush these with beaten egg as well. Make two small vent holes with a knife. Chill for 20min, then bake or follow freezing instructions.
  7. Heat the oven to 220°C (200°C) mark 7. Brush again with egg, place on a baking sheet and cook in the middle of the oven for 30min, until the pastry is golden.
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