Individual pies work best for busy lifestyles – you can make a batch and then freeze the extras for later. Alternatively you can can make a big pie for the family/guests.
- 1 KG diced Venison (shoulder)
- Generous pour of fruit wine (eg raspberry, I used raspberry fortified with sloe gin)
- 20 Junipers
- Generous pinch of peppercorns
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp flour
- Veg of your choice (we used baby courgettes and french climbers from the garden)
- Stock (Venison or beef)
- Fresh Lovage leaves
For the pastry I used the ready to roll shortcrust pastry for the base and ready to roll puff pastry for the top. This is partly because my little one was helping and partly because this pastry comes up really well but doesn’t contain any butter which is great for us as we’re allergic. You may wish to make your own with real butter instead though!
Place the Venison, Juniper, peppercorns, wine and salt together in a bowl and cover. Leave to marinate in the wine overnight.
In the morning do not drain the wine – this will be the base of your gravy. Place everything in a saucepan on medium heat and add the tbsp flour and stir well. Add chopped veggies of your choice (seasonal veg works really well) along with one stalk of fresh lovage leaves and 1 portion of stock. Cover with a lid and simmer.
Roll and cut out the base/s. Brush each tin with oil to stop it sticking (removal will be key if freezing), and place the base.
Add the filling being careful not to include too much liquid.
Roll and cut out the tops and place on top. Use a chopstick or other blunt tool to crimp the edges and seal the pie.
Poke 4/5 small holes in the middle of the top and then brush with beaten egg.
Cook for 160 degrees for 25 minutes to part bake ready for freezing. Or cook for 30 minutes on 180 degrees if eating now.
Save the excess liquid to make your gravy for the pies.