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Venison Pie with Soft Herbed Crust

This venison pie reminds me so much of my childhood and icy, cold winters of the Eastern Free State. My Mom, Winnie, perfected this recipe and the soft pastry that covers the meat also works well for an asparagus or vegetable pie. It is really versatile and easy to make. The venison can be made well in advance and even frozen and just taken out before serving, thawed and baked with the herbed crust.

Filling
  • 1 Large venison leg or shoulder, bone in
  • Some Willow Creek Garlic flavoured olive oil and butter to fry
  • 3 Onions, chopped
  • 5 Garlic cloves, peeled and grated
  • 200g Smoked pork rashers or streaky bacon, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander seeds, toasted
  • 5 Cloves
  • 3 Bay leaves
  • 10 Juniper berries
  • 1 Bottle good qualty dry red wine
  • 500ml Prepared beef or chicken stock
  • 250ml Quince Jelly or 150ml Apricot Jam
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Herbed Crust
  • 250ml Canola oil
  • 2 Eggs
  • 250ml Milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 200ml Chopped soft herbs such as parsley, chives and basil
  • 250ml Cake flour
  • 5ml Baking powder

Serves:

6-8

Prep Time:

30 minutes

Cooking Time:

45 minutes in a pressure cooker or 2-3 hours covered in the oven

Easy to make

Method:

Filling:

  1. Place the olive oil and butter in a large pot and brown the onions, garlic and bacon until cooked.
  2. Remove from the pot and add some more butter and olive oil.
  3. Brown the venison until well browned on all sides.
  4. Place the venison, onion mix, coriander seeds, cloves, bay leaves, juniper berries, red wine, stock and jelly in a pressure cooker and season to taste.
  5. Cook for approx. 45 minutes or until the meat is soft and falls from the bone.
  6. Strain off the sauce and cook until thickened. You can add some flour and butter to thicken if there isn’t a lot of sauce.
  7. Pull the meat and add the sauce.
  8. Place in a large baking dish, top with the crust and bake on 180 degrees Celsius until golden brown.

Herbed Crust:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together, season to taste and pour over the meat filling.