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Venison and onion pie

Venison and onion pie


Venison makes an ideal filling for this traditional raised pie as it hardly shrinks at all during cooking. A generous amount of onion in the pie adds lots of flavor and keeps the meat moist.

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Cooking time: 11/2 - 1 1/4 hours
Serves 6 to 8

  • 750 g (13/4 lb) stewing venison, or boneless pork loin, diced

  • 450 g (1 lb) onions, chopped

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 6 juniper berries, crushed

  • 3 Tbsp red wine

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 tsp gelatin

  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) boiling vegetable stock


  • 225 g (8 oz) plain flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 175 g (6 oz) lard

  • 125 ml (4 fl oz) water and milk, mixed

  1. Prepare the pastry. Place the flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Chop the lard, add it to the liquids, then heat until melted. Bring to a rolling boil, then pour into the flour and mix immediately into a soft, manageable dough. Knead until smooth on a lightly floured surface, then cover and leave to cool slightly.

  2. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Process the venison and onions in a food processor or meat grinder until finely chopped, then season well. Add the juniper berries and moisten the meat with the wine and oil.

  3. Roll out two-thirds of the pastry and use to line an 20 cm (8 in) deep spring form pan. Pack the meat into the pie, then roll out the remaining pastry to make a lid. Moisten the edges of the pastry, then seal the top and sides together, pressing the edge into a decorative crust. Make a small slit in the centre of the lid and use any pastry trimming to make decorative leaves.

  4. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg, then bake in the hot oven for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4 and cook for a further 1 hour.

  5. Carefully loosen and remove the sides of the pan trying not to break the pastry, then brush all the pastry again with beaten egg. Continue to cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes, brushing with egg once or twice more until the pastry is a dark brown. Remove the pie from the oven and leave to cool slightly.

  6. Dissolve the gelatin in the hot stock then pour it carefully into the pie - you will probably only get a small amount in as the meat hardly shrinks at all during cooking. Leave the pie until cold, then chill it for 2 to 3 hours before slicing. Serve cold with some strong pickles and a green salad.

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