Venison Pies

                                                                                                                 Venison Pies

                                                                                              INGREDIENTS

2¼lb/1kg venison meat, trimmed                                                                                      

11oz/300g fatty pork meat                                                                                                  

11oz/300g veal                                                                                                                       

1¾lb/800g pork fat                                                                                                               

Salt and pepper, to taste                                                                                                      

2 tbsp brandy                                                                                                                         

4½lb/2kg all-butter puff pastry                                                                                          

1 egg, beaten                                                                                                                          

Farce à gratin

 5oz/150g venison (rabbit or chicken) liver                                                                                            

4oz/100g raw foie gras

1 tbsp duck fat

2 shallots, chopped

1 sprig thyme

1 bay leaf

2 tbsp brandy

                                                                                           METHOD

First make the farce à gratin – if you can’t find venison liver, use rabbit or chicken liver. Sear the liver and foie gras in a very hot frying pan with the duck fat. After a few seconds, add the shallots, thyme and bay leaf, then season well. When the livers are still very pink, add half the brandy and take off the heat. Press it all, including the liquid, through a coarse drum sieve and set aside.

Cut the other meat and fat into small chunks, season with salt and pepper, cover and chill overnight.

The next day, mince it (using a hand mincer with a 5mm size disc). It is best to refrigerate the mincer beforehand to keep everything as cold as possible. Once done, add the farce à gratin, seasoning and remaining brandy. Shape the mixture into balls of about 4¼oz/120g (slightly smaller than a tennis ball).

Preheat the oven to 350F/180C/Gas 4. Butter the rings, about 8cm across, and line with rolled out pastry. Put a ball of forcemeat in each and glaze generously with beaten egg. Top with discs of pastry, and glaze again. Make a hole in the top of each pie, and insert a roll of greaseproof paper as a 'chimney’. Bake for 20-25 minutes.