Venison stays juicy when it is cooked slowly and gently. Here it is combined with lots of vegetables to make a healthy, hearty family meal.
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1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) potatoes, peeled and cubed
100 ml (3½ fl oz) semi-skimmed milk
Freshly ground nutmeg, to taste
Salt and black pepper
3 rashers of rindless streaky bacon, chopped
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced venison
150 g (5½ oz) carrots, coarsely grated
1 stick of celery, chopped
400 g (14 oz) leeks, sliced
125 g (4½ oz) mushrooms, sliced
150 g (5½ oz) canned sweetcorn, drained
1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
2 tablespoons plain wholemeal flour
300 ml (10 fl oz) stock, or half water and half ale
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons dried white or brown breadcrumbs
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Method Prep:35min › Cook:1hr › Ready in:1hr35min
Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil. Add the potatoes and a pinch of salt and boil until tender. Drain well and mash them until smooth. Beat in the milk, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste then set aside.
Heat a large nonstick frying pan and dry-fry the bacon until it is lightly browned and some fat starts to run. Add the venison, raise the heat and stir-fry until the meat is crumbly and browned.
Stir in the carrots, celery, leeks and mushrooms, cover the pan and let the vegetables sweat for 5 minutes, or until softened. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 190°C (357°F, gas mark 5).
Add the sweetcorn and herbs to the pan and stir in the flour. Continue cooking for 1 minute, then stir in the stock or water and ale mixture, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce and season to taste. Bring to the boil, stirring, then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.
Put the mixture into a shallow, 1.5 litre (2# pint) pie dish. Spoon the mashed potato over the meat, roughing up the top slightly. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and place the dish on a baking sheet. Cook for 25-30 minutes until the top is golden brown. Remove the pie from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, then serve.
Venison is a lean, low-cholesterol meat and so it is a good substitute for beef and lamb.