February 7th 2012
It’s been quite cold lately and I was inspired by specials at the butcher of diced game and venison. I thought the addition of a little chilli would warm things up nicely.
Game and Venison Pie recipe (serves 6 people):
1 lb diced venison
1 lb diced game
1 lb bacon (chopped)
1 pint of home made duck stock (you could substitute chicken stock)
2 medium onions (chopped)
3 carrots (chopped)
2 sticks of celery (chopped)
1 leak (chopped)
6 button mushrooms (chopped)
8 pieces of garlic (finely chopped)
4 heaped dessert spoons of plain flour
2 teaspoons of ground herbs (rosemary, sage and thyme – ground in a mortar and pestle with coarse sea salt and black peppercorns)
3 bay leaves
2 large pinches of crushed chilli
1 glass of red wine
a splash of red wine vinegar
2 dessert spoons of tomato purée
1 squeeze of anchovy paste
a little olive oil
1 teaspoon of goose fat
1 lb home made pastry
sea salt and cracked black pepper
1 beaten egg
Firstly, make 1 lb pastry beforehand and put it in the fridge for an hour or so – the recipe I use most of the time is here.
Heat the goose fat and a little olive oil in a large cast iron casserole and start by frying the onions with some crushed chilli. Use as much chilli as you feel comfortable with, but don’t overdo it, it’s safest to add a bit at a time.
When the onions start to go translucent, stir in the bacon until it takes some colour,
followed by the venison
and then the game. Pick through the meat before cooking and make sure it’s all roughly the same size and cut out any sinews.
After the meat has browned a little, the carrots, celery, garlic and leaks can go in.
Mix the vegetables in thoroughly before adding the mushrooms. Make sure all the vegetables are cooking (the mushrooms in particular will start to change colour) before sprinkling in the ground herbs and the flour.
Stir the flour in well and pour on the stock, wine and a splash of red wine vinegar. The tomato purée, anchovy paste and bay leaves can also go in at this point too. Bring the pie filling up simmering and put the lid on before transferring the casserole to a preheated oven at 100º C . After an hour, taste the mixture and season if necessary, more chilli or purée can be added at this point too. Return the casserole to the oven for a further hour of cooking.
Allow the pie filling to cool before pouring into a greased or oiled pie dish.
Roll out the pastry until it is a bit larger than the dish. Crimp round the edges with your fingers.
Add a decoration, if you have time, brush the pastry with beaten egg and make a few holes to let the heat escape while cooking.
Cook in a preheated oven at 200º C for about 45 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown. Allow the pie to stand for 10 minutes or so before serving. Eat with mashed potato or celeriac.