Saturday, 10 March 2012

Venison and mushroom pie

I had a bit of venison left over so made it into a pie with mushrooms.  This is a double crust pie; if you want to make life easier or the meal less calorific just put a top crust on.

Make the filling ahead of time so that it has time to cool - though you can speed this up by putting it in a metal bowl in cold water.  The pastry needs at least fifteen minutes to absorb the water, but unless you want to make it the day before don't put it in the fridge.  If you try to roll this pastry when it is chilled it is very hard to work.

125g venison (this was already cooked, but raw would be fine)
250g mushrooms
1/2 small onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp umami paste or other flavouring like tamari
1 tsp ketchup (I thought it needed a bit of brightening)

Finely chop the onion and cook until translucent in oil.  (If the venison is raw remove onion from pan and brown venison before continuing with other stages). Add the chopped garlic and the chopped mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown.  Add the venison, cut into bite sized pieces.  Add water and flavourings and cook until the mushrooms are soft.  Add some cornflour mixed with water to thicken the sauce, or, as I did, use a small lump of the pastry mixed into the sauce.  Don't make this as thick as you would like the gravy to be in the pie as it will reduce and thicken more in the baking.

Check flavouring and adjust as needed.  Put aside to cool.

250g flour (40% urid, 40% tapioca, 20% cornmeal)
125 g chilled butter
water to mix to dough

Cut and rub the butter into the flour until it is evenly dispersed.  You can do this in a food mixer or by hand - which is harder, getting out the machine and washing up or rubbing gently for a couple of minutes?

Add water a little at a time and mix with finger tips until you get a slightly damp dough that holds together well.  Wrap in plastic and leave to rest at room temperature for at least fifteen minutes.

Put the oven on to heat - 170C fan, before you start assembling pie.

When the pastry has rested, roll out 2/3 of the pastry on floured board or just press into place in pie dish.  Place cooled filling into pie dish and top with the rest of the pastry.  Make a hole in the middle for the steam, brush with egg wash if you want a shiny top.

Bake at 170C, for about half an hour.  If you have kept the filling in the fridge allow a little extra time for the filling to get piping hot and the lower pastry to be cooked.  You may also need a little extra time if you use a ceramic dish rather than a metal pie dish.  The filling is already cooked so it just needs to be hot and the pastry crisp.

Serves two hungry people or four with modest appetites.

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