New Forest Venison Pie

New Forest Marque Chairman Dan Parsons shares his recipe for a Winter warming New Forest Venison Pie.

Ingredients

·       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

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 177C/350F/Gas mark 4
  2. 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)
  3. Now add the butter to the casserole dish. Add the onions and cook until softened, but not browned.
  4. Add the garlic, bacon/lardon, leak and fresh mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes.
  5. Once cooked, add back the venison and juices. Stir. Add the red wine, water, stock cubes, redcurrant jelly, tinned tomatoes, dried mushrooms.
  6. 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.
  7. Take out, add the shallots and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Lid on and back into the over for another 20mins
  8. Take out. Lightly butter the sides of a pie dish and transfer casserole over.
  9. Lightly dust clean kitchen surface with flour and roll out pastry
  10. 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?