400g Wild venison, diced
1 Onion, chunkily chopped
200g Mushrooms, quartered
1 Carrot, finely diced
1 Clove garlic, minced
5 Juniper berries, crushed
1 tbsp Fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 Bay leaves
300ml Scottish ale
320g Puff pastry, rolled to thickness of a pound coin
1 tsp Plain flour
1 Egg, beaten
Salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat your oven to 160. Add the butter, onion, carrot, mushrooms and garlic to a large oven-proof pan over a low heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the juniper berries, rosemary, bay leaves and half of your ale, turn the heat up and add the venison when the liquid in the pan is hot. Simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
Turn off the heat. Add salt and pepper to your taste and the rest of the ale, then stir in the flour. Place in the oven for 2 hours checking regularly to make sure it has enough liquid. If it looks too dry, you can add more ale, stock or water.
The perfect pie filling should have tender meat in a rich, dark, thick stew. So if after the 2 hours it’s still too wet, place the pan on the hob and reduce for 15 minutes or so until it thickens up a bit.
Turn oven up to 180. Pour your stew into a pie dish and place your pastry over the top of the whole thing, pushing down slightly at the edges. Criss cross the top very gently with a sharp knife, then brush your beaten egg over the pastry. Grind some salt and black pepper over the top, then place in the oven. Bake for 40 minutes at the bottom of the oven until the pastry is golden and puffed up.
Serve with seasonal organic veg and good company. Enjoy!