If you can’t find or don’t like venison try cooking this pie with shin of beef. If you do though, you will need to cook the meat for about an hour longer. When I can find fresh wild mushrooms (sometimes I can get girolles or chanterelles) I’ll use them along with a few of the chestnut mushrooms. Grating the butter into the pastry gives the classic shortcrust a little flakiness and tastes richer than a shortcrust-even though the ratio of butter to flour is the same.
- 20g dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons rapeseed oil
- 800g diced casserole venison
- 500g leeks, trimmed and cut into 2-3cm long rounds
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 300g baby chestnut mushrooms
- 4 tablespoons plain flour
- 200ml red wine
- 300ml beef stock
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- For the pastry
- 300g plain flour, plus extra for rolling
- 150g very cold butter
- 1 egg, beaten
- Cover the porcini mushrooms with boiling water and leave to soak for 1 hour. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a flameproof casserole and, over a high heat, brown the meat in small batches for 1-2 minutes each side. Place the meat into a bowl when browned.
- Lower the heat and add a tablespoon of oil to the casserole. Add the leeks and garlic and soften gently for 4-5 minutes. Lift out and add to the meat. Heat the remaining oil in the casserole and brown the mushrooms for 4-5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms to a separate bowl as you will be adding them to the casserole later.
- Return the meat, leeks and garlic to the casserole and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute then pour in the wine. Stir for a minute or two to allow the wine to reduce a bit then pour in the stock. Lift the porcini mushrooms out of the soaking liquor (reserving it to add to the meat) and roughly chop. Stir into the meat along with most of the soaking liquor. Don’t pour in the dregs which tend to be gritty.
- Tie the thyme and bay leaf together with a piece of string and add to the casserole. Season with a little salt and ground black pepper and bring to the boil. Turn the heat down, cover with a lid and simmer the meat for 1 hour.
- Stir in the chestnut mushrooms and simmer for a further 30 minutes. Transfer to a pie dish. Ideally leave the meat to cool for at least an hour before covering in pastry.
- For the pastry, place the flour in a bowl with a pinch of salt. Coarsely grate in the butter and carefully stir into the flour. Add just enough ice-cold water to bring the pastry together to form a smooth dough, about 6 tablespoons. Knead once or twice then flatten out slightly and wrap in cling film. Chill for 1-2 hours.
- Heat the oven to 200˚c, fan oven 180˚c, mark 6. Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface-large enough to cover your pie dish. I like to cut out narrow strips to place around the rim of the pie dish. Brush this pastry rim with beaten egg and drape the sheet of pastry over the surface of the pie. Crimp the edges and brush the pastry with the beaten egg. Bake in the oven for about 40 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.