Simon Winfield knows a thing or two about Game. Born in Cape Town he has cooked in some of the top restaurants both here in Australia, the USA, South Africa and England. Simon started cooking in Australia working in the renowned ‘Lynch’s’ in Melbourne. He and two partners head up Tommy Collins Catering and Events. Currently Simon is the face of a Bakery in Hampton ‘The Hamptons’ and ‘South Central’ in South Yarra.
Here’s his magic Venison Pie!
You Will Need
- Olive oil.
- Three medium red onions, peeled and chopped.
- Four cloves of garlic.
- Two large carrots, chopped.
- Two sticks of celery, trimmed and chopped.
- Four large field mushrooms.
- Two kilograms of stewing venison, cut into two-centimetre cubes.
- A few sprigs fresh rosemary, and thyme leaves.
- Picked and chopped, a few fresh bay leaves.
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Five or six juniper berries, bashed in a pestle and mortar.
- 500 millilitre can Guinness stout.
- One heaped tablespoon of plain flour.
- 350 grams of ready-made all-butter puff pastry.
- One large free-range egg, beaten.
Preheat the oven to 180C/35F/gas mark 4.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a large ovenproof pan on a low heat.
Add the chopped onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes until nice and sweet. Don’t let it colour too much.
Turn the heat up, then add the garlic, butter, carrot and celery, and the mushrooms, roughly torn up. Mix everything together before stirring in the venison, chopped rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of pepper and the bashed-up juniper berries.
Fry everything quickly for three or four minutes, then pour in the stout.
Stir in the flour and add just enough water to cover.
Bring to a simmer, pop the lid on and place in the oven for about two and a half hours, giving it a stir from time to time. If, when you remove it from the oven, it’s still quite liquid, place the pan on the hob and reduce for 15 minutes or so until it thickens up a bit.
Tip the stew in the pie dish and place the pastry on top of the pie. Decorate as you to your liking. Brush the top with beaten egg. Place it on the bottom shelf of oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
Serve with wilted greens.