How to make: Venison pie
Chef Debbie Mclaughlin of Hilda's Kitchen at Groote Post wine estate in Darling shares her secret
From time to time we need to cull the herds of springbok that roam in the game park on the farm. This brings out the hunter instinct in Peter Pentz (co-owner of Groote Post) and he arranges for a well-organised shoot. It gets me thinking about hearty venison pie with a glass or two of Groote Post Merlot. I prefer individual pies as the presentation is better but one can always make a large pie for a family meal. We serve our pies in the restaurant with oven-roasted root vegetables, hand-cut chunky chips and a ramekin of redcurrant jelly.
Venison Pie : Serves 6-8
- 1.5kg venison, diced (we used venison shoulder for this particular pie)
- 350ml good-quality red wine
- 1 onion cut into quarters
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- Rind of an orange
- 60ml (4 tbsp) olive oil
- 150g bacon, chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- 2 onions, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 500ml (2 cups) beef stock
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 45ml (3 tbsp) cranberry jelly
- 150g mixed mushrooms sautéed in butter
- 65ml (¼ cup) cream
- 200g (2 cups) rolled oats
- 300g (2¼ cups) cake flour
- 250g butter
- 1 extra-large egg
- A splash or two of milk
For the marinade, place all the ingredients in a non-metallic bowl and add the venison. Stir to combine, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 24 hours.
To prepare the springbok filling, use 40ml of the oil to fry bacon until crispy. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels. In batches, fry the springbok over high heat until nicely browned. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan while doing this. Once the meat has been browned, use the remaining oil and fry the celery, onions and carrots until they begin to soften. Add garlic and reserved marinade to the pan along with the bacon and the browned meat. Add the stock and fresh herbs.
Cover pan tightly with tin foil and cook in a preheated oven at 160ºC for about 2 hours or until meat is tender.
Remove from oven and add the cranberry jelly, mushrooms and cream and return to the oven covered for another 15 minutes. Remove and allow to cool before filling the pie pots.
For the pastry combine the oats, flour and butter in a mixer and blend until mixture starts coming together. Add the egg and some milk and mix until combined, adding more milk if necessary. Divide the filling between 6-8 individual pie pots, roll out the pastry and cut lids for each pie. Pierce the pie pastry with a knife and brush with lightly beaten egg.
Bake at 180ºC for 20-30 minutes or until pastry is cooked through.