This wonderful recipe makes a great Venison, Cranberry & Rosemary  pie, a real twist for the festive season.

To make Venison, Cranberry and Rosemary Pie, you will need:

Filling
500 ml Monteiths Barrel Aged Porter (or similar ale)
2 packets of Silver Fern Farms Venison Diced
2 Tbsp olive oil
50 g butter
3 red onions, peeled & sliced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 leek, chopped
4 large portobello mushrooms, chopped
3-4 sprigs worth of fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
3-4 sprigs worth of fresh thyme leaves, picked
2-3 fresh bay leaves
Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dried cranberries
1 heaped tablespoon plain flour

Topping
500 g potatoes, peeled and chopped
½-1 cup of milk, for mashing

Preheat oven to 180°C. Heat the olive oil over a low heat in a large ovenproof casserole dish. Add the sliced onions and fry gently for about 10 minutes until nice and sweet, without too much colour.

Turn up the heat and add half the butter along with the garlic, carrot, leek, celery and mushrooms. Mix everything together before stirring in the venison, chopped rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of pepper and the juniper berries.

Fry everything for 3 -4 minutes, then pour in the ale. 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 2½ hours, giving it a stir from time to time. You could also do this step in a slow-cooker; cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours.

The perfect pie filling should have tender meat in a rich, dark, thick stew. So if it’s still quite liquidy when you remove it from the oven, place the pan on the hob and reduce for 15 minutes or so until it thickens up a bit.

To make the mashed potato topping, boil the chopped potatoes in salted water for 12-15 minutes, until tender. Drain, add the remaining butter and mash until lump-free, adding enough milk to loosen the potatoes and give a creamy finish. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Tip the stew into a pie dish, and top with the mashed potato. Pop the pie on the bottom shelf of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the potato is golden and brown.

Recipe by Jess’ Underground Kitchen for Silver Fern Farms using Silver Fern Farms Diced Venison
Pie feeds 4-6 people

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