Valentine Warner Venison Pie
Submitted - Ben
Ingredients2¼ lbs/1 kg shoulder or leg of red deer venison
1 ½z/ 40g dripping or lard
2 large onions, peeled and finely diced
1 heaped tbsp all-purpose/plain flour
1 tsp English mustard powder
4 medium carrots, peeled and diced
18fl oz /500 ml can of dark ale
1 tbsp soft brown sugar
3 tbsps malt vinegar
A heavy grating of nutmeg
1 big sprig of fresh thyme
Large-flaked sea salt and a good blast of black pepper
2 ginger biscuits
8 oz/250g block of puf pastry
Extra flour for dusting
1 medium egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk
MethodPreheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
Heat the dripping in a large, lidded, non-reactive flameproof casserole, then add the onions. Fry until the onions are soft and golden-brown.
Turn off the heat and sift the flour and mustard powder into the pot. Stir until you have a thickened onion mixture.
Add the meat and carrots and stir into the onion mixture. (You are not browning the venison, as this will toughen the meat.)
Add the ale, sugar, vinegar, nutmeg, thyme, freshly ground black pepper and both grated ginger biscuits. Stir once more. Cover the contents of the pot with a circle of greaseproof paper and put the lid on the casserole. Transfer to the oven and bake for 1½ hours.
Remove from the oven and season, to taste, with sea salt.
Transfer the contents of the casserole to a pie dish. Use a smaller-diameter, deep dish, as a wide shallow one will make the pie crust droop in the middle and become soggy.
Increase the temperature of the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.
Roll the puff pastry out on a floured work surface to a thickness of about 7mm/¼in. Lay the pastry over the venison filling, leaving a slight overhang at the edges of the pie dish.
Crimp the edges of the pastry with a fork and brush the top of the pie evenly with the beaten egg and milk mixture.
You can fashion any pastry motif appropriate to the occasion from any leftover pastry and place it on top. Brush this with egg and milk mixture as well.
Pierce a small hole into the middle of the pastry to allow steam to escape, then place into the oven to bake for 40-45 minutes, until the pastry is a rich hazelnut brown.
Remove from the oven and serve at the table in the dish.
CommentsPrep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours