The wild, ‘gamey’ flavour of venison will make a delicious alternative to your turkey leftovers for Boxing Day. Hailing from German Christmas traditions where families enjoy a feast of wild boar or game, venison is packed with flavour and texture and is low in fat. All of these attributes make it a perennial favourite in our kitchens.
At The Cloth Ear, we know that a hearty Boxing Day feast is the perfect way to bring the family together. With this in mind, why not try this fine recipe for a mouth-watering Boxing Day Venison Pie?
· 2kg Venison haunch
· 3 onions, diced
· 2tbsp vegetable oil
· 3 garlic cloves, finely sliced
· 1tbsp picked thyme
· 4 carrots, sliced into 1cm pieces
· 5 plums, quartered
· 1 apple, cored and sliced into eighths
· 1 star anise
· 6 black peppercorns
· 4 cloves
· 2 bay leaves
· 1/4tbsp nutmeg
· 1 cinnamon stick
· 1tsp black onion seed
· 4 celery sticks, sliced into 1cm pieces
· 1x35cm2 puff pastry sheet
· 750ml beef stock
· 2 eggs
· 10g sugar
· 15ml sherry vinegar
1. When purchasing the venison ask the butcher to remove the bone. The bone should be roasted at 200°C for 30 minutes and then boiled with the beef stock to help the flavours pair.
2. Dice the venison into 1 inch pieces. There may be a little fat on the meat, but this fine as it will develop the flavour when it is braised.
3. Heat a non-stick frying pan until it is smoking, add the vegetable oil and then colour the venison until brown and caramelised.
4. Remove the meat and place in a deep casserole dish with a lid.
5. Add the onion, carrot and celery to the pan and fry until they begin to soften, and then add the garlic thyme and spices. Cook for 5 minutes at a lower temperature, and then add these vegetables and spices to the meat in the casserole dish.
6. Using the same pan, lightly caramelise the sugar and add the sherry vinegar. Place the fruit into the pan and soften for a few minutes.
7. Place the contents in the casserole dish, along with the beef stock. Braise at 120°C for 3½ hours.
8. Allow the casserole to cool at room temperature and then rest in the fridge overnight, allowing the flavours to develop and the meat to absorb as much of the liquid as possible.
9. The next day, prepare a flat casserole dish, approximately 30cm in diameter and no greater than 8cm in depth, and place the cooled venison mixture inside.
10. Place the puff pastry on top, tucking it into the edges of the dish.
11. Whisk the eggs with the black onion seeds and liberally brush over the pastry.
12. Prick the pastry with a fork several times, place in a pre-heated oven at 180°C for 40 minutes, and serve.