Sophie Wright’s Leek, Stewed Venison and Wild Mushroom Pies

Sophie Wright’s Leek, Stewed Venison and Wild Mushroom Pies

A proper pie that has a crispy, pastry top. Yum! Give this rich, full bodied pie a go, I can promise you that the combination of delicious British leeks, with venison and wild mushrooms are a match made in heaven. Serve with lashing of creamy mash potatoes, gravy and a glass of red. Go on, treat yourselves. Top tip, if you’re having a little soiree, why not make these “mini” so everyone gets their own delicious personal portion.

Serves 6 (1 large pie or 6 individual ones)
Preparation time 40 minutes
Cooling and resting time: 2 hours
Cooking time: 3 hours
Oven temp 180°C

Ingredients

For the pie filling
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
1kg diced venison
2 large leeks, finely sliced
1 sticks celery finely diced
150g smoked bacon or pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
4 juniper berries, crushed gently using back of knife
50g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 300mls of boiling water
2 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp plain flour
300mls red wine
600mls game or beef stock
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp red currant jelly
Salt and pepper

2 sheets pre-rolled short crust pastry
2 egg yolks to glaze, beaten
Salt

Directions

1. To make the filling for the pie put a large casserole pan on the heat and add the oil.

2. Add to this 1 third of the diced venison and season with salt and pepper. Allow the meat to colour well on all sides before removing from the pan and frying the next batch.

3. When all browned, Turn the heat down to low, clean out any burnt bits from the bottom of the pan and add a little more oil. Add in the sliced leeks, celery, bacon, garlic, thyme, bay leaves and crushed juniper berries. Place a lid on top and allow to cook for 8-10 minutes until soft and translucent.

4. Add back in the browned venison along with the soaked dried mushrooms, (reserve the soaking liquor for later). Stir together well before adding in the tomato puree and coating the meat well. Cook for 2 minutes before adding the flour, red wine, stock, Worcestershire sauce and mushroom liquor.

5. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and allow to simmer for two and half hours, stirring every half an hour or so. You can also do this in the oven, 160°C with a tight fitting lid.

6. Once the stew is cooked, the meat is tender and the sauce is thickened, add in the red currant jelly, check for seasoning and turn off the heat. The stew now needs to cool completely in your pie dish.

7. Lay the pastry out on your work surface and cut the lid to fit your desired pie dish. With the left over pastry cut strips that will fit around the rim of your dish or dishes. Beat an egg yolk and brush the edges of your pie dish/dishes. Place the strips of pastry onto the rim or rims or your chosen dishes, brush with a little more egg and lay on the tops. Press the edges down using a folk and trim off any excess pastry. Make a small incision in the top of your pie/pies and brush the tops all over with the remaining egg yolk. Sprinkle with salt. These can now be cooked in a hot oven until golden brown for 20-40 minutes depending on the size of the pies at 180°C.

8. Serve your pie with mash potatoes and greens of your choice.