New Forest Marque Chairman Dan Parsons shares his recipe for a Winter warming New Forest Venison Pie.
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· 25g/1oz butter
· 2 onions, diced
· 1 leak, chopped
· Handful (dozen) of peeled shallots (keep whole)
· 4 garlic cloves, crushed
· 4 rashers smoked bacon, chopped (or lardons) (from The Commoner’s Larder)
· 500g/1Ib 2oz mushrooms (Chestnut or Button), chopped (from New Forest Mushrooms Ltd)
· Handful of mixed dried mushroom
· 2.5kg/5½lb haunch or shoulder of venison, diced (from Forest Meats @ Manor Farm)
· ½ bottle red wine (visit our array of members who produce their own wine)
· 400ml/14fl oz water
· 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
· 1 beef stock cubes, crumbled
· 500g puff pastry
· 3 tbsp redcurrant jelly
· Small amount of plain flour (check out members Alderholt Mill and Eling Tide Mill)
· Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 177C/350F/Gas mark 4
- On the hob, heat the olive oil in a large lidded casserole dish. Add the venison and brown. Once done, sprinkle over the flour so the outside of the venison has a slight dusting. Mix. Remove and set aside (along with any juices)
- Now add the butter to the casserole dish. Add the onions and cook until softened, but not browned.
- Add the garlic, bacon/lardon, leak and fresh mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes.
- Once cooked, add back the venison and juices. Stir. Add the red wine, water, stock cubes, redcurrant jelly, tinned tomatoes, dried mushrooms.
- Bring to the boil and stir well. Put the lid on the casserole and place in the middle of the oven - cook for 60 minutes.
- Take out, add the shallots and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lid on and back into the over for another 20mins
- Take out. Lightly butter the sides of a pie dish and transfer casserole over.
- Lightly dust clean kitchen surface with flour and roll out pastry
- Add rolled pasty top and lightly brush with milk. Put back into the oven for a further 25-30mins (until pastry has risen and browned) and then eat.
Only once you've made and tasted this can you answer the age-old conundrum. Is this a pie or just a casserole with a pastry top?