Venison Pies

, from Issue #13. September, 2015
Photography by Becky Nunes.
Venison Pies


2 cups beef stock
1 ½ cups red wine
2 shallots, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 bay leaf
4 juniper berries
3 sprigs thyme
2 tablespoons redcurrant jelly

olive oil 100 grams streaky bacon, chopped
500 grams Cervena Venison Denver leg, cubed
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
8 small shallots, unpeeled
40 grams butter
3 tablespoons flour
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
500 grams good quality puff pastry
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water


Marinade: Put all the marinade ingredients, except the redcurrant jelly, in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce to 2½ cups then stir in the redcurrant jelly and allow it to melt. Set aside.

Heat a sauté pan with a little oil and cook the bacon until tender but not crisp. Take out and place in a wide dish. Add some of the venison to the pan and sear quickly on all sides. Remove and add to the bacon. Repeat with the remaining vension. Pour the marinade over the meat and cool. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Put the garlic and shallots on a piece of tin foil, drizzle over a little oil and season. Wrap tightly and roast in the oven until both are tender. Cool and peel.

Strain the marinated venison through a colander set over a bowl. Remove the juniper berries, bay and the thyme.

Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the flour. Stir to make a smooth sauce and cook for 3 minutes. Add the marinade and whisk to a smooth sauce. Season and simmer for a few minutes until thick and glossy. Pour over the meat, add the garlic and shallots and stir to combine. Allow to cool completely before filling the pies.

To cook: Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Roll the pastry out on a lightly floured bench. Cut out 4 bottoms and 4 tops to line 4 deep pie dishes or Texas muffin tins. Chill the pastry if it is getting soft.

Divide the filling between the muffin tins and brush the edges with the egg yolk and water mixture (egg wash). Place a pastry lid on top and crimp the edges together to seal. Brush the tops with egg wash and cut a small hole for the steam. Decorate with pastry leaves if desired.

Place on a baking tray and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown and the pastry is cooked through. Makes 4 pies.