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Venison mince pies

Mince pies and Christmas go hand in hand, but Cai Ap Bryn’s variety pays homage to the pie’s roots by including meat — in this case, venison. Makes 10 to 12 pies.

venison mince pies

Venison mince pies

Mince pies are a Christmas staple nowadays and I have used this venison mince pies recipe for a few years. I have even made them for pop-up winter restaurants, and they always go down a treat. They are full of spices, fruit, port and venison. Extremely moreish, and even better with a mulled wine in hand, they’ll certainly keep Father Christmas coming back for more. (Find our venison pie recipe here.)

Venison mince pies

Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes


  • ½ onion, diced
  • 250g venison mince
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 75ml port
  • 150g mixed dried fruit (cranberries, apricots, raisins)
  • 1 heaped tbsp marmalade
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 1½ tbsp sugar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Shortcrust pastry (ready rolled)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tsp icing sugar


  1. With a dash of oil, soften the onion over a medium heat. Once done, add the venison mince to brown, along with the mixed spice.
  2. Once the mince has browned, add the port, fruit and marmalade and cook out the alcohol for 5 minutes. Then add the beef stock and cook on medium to high for 5 minutes to reduce the stock slightly. Add sugar, ⅓tsp salt and ⅓tsp black pepper, then set aside to cool for an hour.
  3. Grease a cupcake tray, then cut out the pastry into circles and form little cups in each of the pie divots. Carefully spoon your mincemeat mix in. Cut out a lid, brush with egg wash to seal, and place on top of each pie. Brush egg wash over the tops to finish.
  4. Bake the pies in a preheated oven at 180°C/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes. Place on a cooling rack when the pies are ready and dust over some icing sugar to serve.

Thoughts on mince pies

I am the first to admit that Christmas is one of my favourite times of the year, and everything is now starting to become quite festive. For me, I look forward to the coming together of family and friends.

During the summer months, I am flat out with events and game fairs. The arrival of the colder autumn and winter months means more downtime with my nearest and dearest and, of course, some shooting.

Christmastime is also the perfect opportunity to prepare my harvested game for family and friends. I have game on the menu every Christmas. As deerstalking is my biggest hobby, I always try to incorporate venison in some way or another. This recipe is a great one for that, using real mincemeat for a traditional mince pie. You already know, of course, that the mincemeat is venison.

The humble mince pie has its roots traced back to the 13th century. Some believe it was the Europeans who brought them back from crusades in the Holy Lands, full of exotic spices and various meats, the most popular being mutton. Mutton was widely farmed back then, so it makes sense that this was the meat of choice. Venison, although lacking the fat, isn’t too far off, and so is an excellent choice for these festive little pies.