Venison picnic pie recipe
This venison picnic pie from Rose Prince can be served hot or cold, and is even more delicious if you can master your own rough puff pastry. Serves three.
I used to make this lovely venison picnic pie recipe when I ran a bakery with my teenage children. This is your opportunity to make your own rough puff pastry, though you can use ready-made. Once you have mastered rough puff, however, I think you will agree that it is so much more delicious than ready-made. The recipe for the pastry is one adapted from Richard Bertinet, a very great baker indeed. I make more than needed as it is easier to handle, then freeze the rest. If you are using ready-made pastry, start from step six.
Venison picnic pie recipe
For the pastry:
- 500g unsalted butter
- 500g plain flour
- 250ml ice-cold water
For the filling:
- 500g pork mince
- 500g venison mince
- 2 tbsp sherry
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg, beaten with salt, to glaze
- Put the butter between two sheets of greaseproof paper and tap it hard with a rolling pin to soften. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the butter slabs. Use your hands to break the butter into pieces the size of the top of your thumb, then mix the pieces lightly into the flour.
- Add the water and form a dry-ish dough; it will look crusty at the edges and there will be loose flour, but do not try to incorporate it yet. Wrap the dough in greaseproof paper and put it in the fridge for 15 minutes.
- Take the dough from the fridge, unwrap it then swiftly roll it into a rectangle about 20x40cm. Fold it into three, like a letter, tap it with a rolling pin, turn it 90 degrees, then it roll out again to 20x40cm. Make sure it does not stick and that there is enough flour on the worktop.
- Repeat this process a second time; fold, tap with the rolling pin, wrap and refrigerate again for 30 minutes. The pastry should have absorbed the dry and floury bits, and marbled lumps of butter will be visible. A lump of butter may break through — just dust the area with flour if this happens.
- Repeat the rolling, folding and tapping one last time and refrigerate the pastry for at least 30 minutes before using it.
- Mix together all the filling ingredients, seasoning to taste, then form into a roll approximately 25cm long. Wrap it in paper or cling film and set to one side.
- You will need about 400 to 500g of rough puff pastry. Dust the worktop with flour and roll it into a rectangle measuring 25x40cm. Pick up the pastry sheet, rolling it on to a floured rolling pin, and unroll it on the baking sheet. Unwrap the sausage filling and place it carefully lengthways in the centre of the pastry sheet.
- Take a sharp knife and cut the borders of the pastry, horizontal to the sausage, into ribbons, each 2cm wide. Starting at one end, bring the first two ribbons either side of the sausage up to meet in the centre. Lay one down on the sausage and let the other one cross over it. Continue like this until the whole sausage has the pastry woven around it.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/ Gas Mark 4. Brush the plait with the egg glaze. Refrigerate it for 15 minutes to firm up the pastry, then place it in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, until it’s golden. Insert a skewer into the middle of the sausage plait — if it comes out very hot, the pie is cooked. If it is warm but not hot, give the pie more time but turn down the oven. Serve hot or cold with apple chutney.