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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.