Country Living (UK) - - Food & Drink -

Prepa­ra­tion 30 min­utes Cooking 4 hours Serves 6 Veni­son re­places beef in this rich com­bi­na­tion of clas­sic bour­guignon flavours.

150g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, diced 400g shal­lots, peeled and halved 1.2kg diced veni­son 2 tbsp oil 2 gar­lic cloves, crushed 1 tsp ju­niper berries, lightly crushed 1 tsp all­spice 6 tbsp plain flour 275g but­ton mush­rooms, halved 650ml red wine 450ml beef stock 1 bay leaf 3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked 200g whole chest­nuts 500g block puff pas­try 1 medium egg, beaten

1 In a large pan or casse­role dish set over a medium heat, fry the pancetta (or bacon) and shal­lots for 10 min­utes. Scoop out with a slot­ted spoon and set aside. Sea­son the veni­son well. Fry in two batches, us­ing 1 tbsp oil for each, un­til evenly browned all over. Re­turn to the pan.

2 Add the gar­lic, ju­niper berries and all­spice for 1 minute un­til fra­grant. Add the flour for an­other minute, stir­ring con­stantly.

3 Re­turn the pancetta and shal­lots to the pan with the mush­rooms. Pour in the wine and stock; add the herbs. Bring to the boil, re­duce the tem­per­a­ture to low, par­tially cover and sim­mer for 3 hours. Once ten­der, stir in the chest­nuts, re­move from the heat and set aside to cool com­pletely. Re­move the bay leaf and thyme twigs and dis­card.

4 Spoon the cold fill­ing into a 1.3 litre pie dish with a rim, mound­ing it slightly in the cen­tre and adding enough liq­uid to come just be­low the pie rim.

5 Roll the pas­try out on a lightly floured sur­face to £1-coin thick­ness. Cut off a few strips to fit around the dish rim. Brush rim lightly with wa­ter, press pas­try strips on and brush with the egg. Use a rolling pin to lift the re­main­ing pas­try over the pie. Trim away ex­cess, cut­ting down­wards against the edge of the rim. Re­serve trim­mings. Tap the blade of a sharp knife against the edge of the pas­try, sep­a­rat­ing the lay­ers slightly, en­cour­ag­ing them to ‘puff ’. Scal­lop the pie edge with the back of your knife and fin­ger. Brush lightly all over with beaten egg. Dec­o­rate the pie top with the trim­mings and brush with beaten egg. Make two small vent holes with a knife. Chill for 20 min­utes.

6 Heat the oven to 220°C (200°C) gas mark 7. Brush again with egg, place the pie on a bak­ing sheet and cook in the mid­dle of the oven for 30 min­utes un­til the pas­try is golden. Serve with sea­sonal veg­eta­bles.

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