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  • London, 
  • Wandsworth, 
  • SW18 1AA
020 8874 1833
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October

Game season continues, and ahead of my Supper club this month, I want to talk about...

Venison

Venison is up there for me alongside beef and lamb. It’s got such a unique flavour profile and with essentially identical cuts available to beef and lamb, it’s got fairly endless applications. It does need a bit more balancing though in terms of flavours on a plate though compared to the others, and as a chef who loves a challenge I always look forward to this time of year, when slow cooked meat pies, roasts and earthier flavours generally come into season.

Here’s a recipe I’ve been working on that I’ll have on the Special’s board this coming month. This recipe is for 4 people though, because sharing is caring:

Venison haunch pie

Ingredients:

-1 kg venison haunch

-20ml neutral oil

-1 large onion

-150g (ish) carrots

-1 celery stem

-20g thyme

-1 bay leaf

– 4-6 cloves of garlic (down to your taste)

-1 litre beef stock

-1 large glass of red wine

-1 more large glass of red wine (optional – cooking is thirsty work)

-1 egg yolk

-A knob of butter

-2x rolls shop bought shortcrust pastry – I make my own but for home cooks this is just as good

-Seasoning to taste

Method:

  1. Roughly dice venison into bite size chunks, and heat a pan with your oil. Once the pot has just begun smoking, carefully add your venison in batches, and sear on one side for 2-3 minutes. Flip each piece and ensure both sides are well seared but not cooked fully internally. Remove from the pot and turn down the heat.
  2.  Finely dice your onion, celery and carrot, then add them all together into the same pan and cook on a medium/low heat until the celery and onion go translucent. You still want a bit of bite in the carrots.
  3. Add in your thyme and bay leaf, stir and continue cooking for 30 seconds until they become aromatic.
  4. Add your wine, stock and garlic, and bring the mixture to a boil. Immediately drop the heat to the lowest it will go, add your venison back in and place a lid on the pot. Cook for 2.5 hours, stirring every 45 minutes.
  5. Strain the mixture into a separate pot and begin to reduce the liquid by half on high heat stirring occasionally. Pick out the meat carefully as it will be tender and and place on a plate or bowl to one side. Discard the rest.
  6. once the liquid has reduced by half, add your meat back in and kill the heat. If you’re feeling extra indulgent add a knob of butter until the sauce becomes glossy. Allow the mixture to cool.
  7. Grease an, ideally rectangular, pie dish with butter, and lay one sheet of your pastry across the bottom and up the sides. Fill the dish with your cooled mixture, and then roll the next sheet of pastry across the top. Use a fork to seal the edges of the dish and trim any excess pastry with a knife.
  8. Whisk an egg yolk in a bowl, and brush across the lid of the pie. Once coated, use a knife to poke 2 small holes in the middle of the lid for ventilation.
  9. Place the tray in an oven at 180 degrees until the pastry turns golden brown. Take out of the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes.
  10. Finally, serve.

I like to keep my accompaniments classic, some sort of mashed root vegetable and a healthy jug of gravy.

Let me know how you get on if you try this recipe at home, and tag us @easthillwandsworth on Instagram.

See you soon,

Chef John