Venison and Mushroom Pie with Port and Pickled Walnuts.

Serves 6.


  • 500g/1lb 2oz boneless venison from the haunch, trimmed and cut into 4 cm/1½ in pieces.
  • 500g/1lb 2oz chuck steak, trimmed and cut into 4cm/1½in pieces.
  • 200ml/7fl oz tawny port.
  • 4 shallots, finely chopped.
  • 1tbsp pickled walnuts in jars finely chopped.
  • 25g/1 oz plain flour.
  • 700ml/1¼ pints beef stock.
  • 500g/1lb 2oz Portobello or large flat mushrooms, cut into wedges
  • 500g/1lb 2oz puff pastry.
  • 1 egg, beaten and mixed with ½tsp of salt.


  1. Put the venison and steak pieces in a heavy plastic food bag and add the port.
  2. Seal and leave to marinate in a bowl in the fridge for at least a day or two.
  3. This will give the meat a stronger flavour.
  4.  Preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas mark 4.
  5. In a large bowl, mix together the shallots, pickled walnuts and flour with a teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
  6. Lift the meat from the port with a slotted spoon, reserving the marinade and stir the meat into the flour, coating it thoroughly.
  7. Transfer this mixture to a large ovenproof casserole.
  8. Stir together the reserved marinade and stock and stir into the casserole along with the mushrooms.
  9. Put the casserole over a medium heat and bring to the boil.
  10. Cover and put in the oven for 2 hours, until the meat is tender when pierced with a fork.
  11. Remove the lid and put the casserole over a high heat.
  12. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer for 15-20 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  13. Season to taste.
  14. Spoon into the pie dish and leave to cool thoroughly.
  15. Roll the pastry out to an oval 2.5cm/1in larger than pie dish.
  16. Trim the edges and cut a strip the width of the dish rim from edge of the dough.
  17. Brush the dough strip with the egg glaze.
  18. Roll the dough oval around the rolling pin and lift onto the pie dish.
  19. Press the dough firmly to seal it to the strip.
  20. Trim the excess dough and brush the top with the egg glaze.
  21. Make two small slits in the centre of the dough to allow the steam to escape.
  22. Roll out any trimmings and use to cut out flowers or leaves to decorate the pie.
  23. Brush the decorations with the egg glaze.
  24. Chill the pie for at least 15 minutes before baking.
  25. Turn the oven up to 220C/gas 7/fan oven 200C and bake the pie for 30minutes or until the pastry is puffed, crisp and golden.
  26. Serve with steamed cabbage and mashed potatoes.