About this recipe: A sweet potato mash flavoured with mustard and orange is the colourful top for
this pie. Underneath is a hearty and rich-tasting filling of lean venison simmered in red wine with baby onions and button mushrooms. Some simple green vegetables are all that's needed to balance this delicious dish.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200 g (7 oz) small button onions, peeled and left whole
500 g (1 lb 2 oz) boneless haunch of venison or venison shoulder, diced
150 g (5½ oz) baby button mushrooms
3 celery sticks, thickly sliced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
300 ml (10 fl oz) full-bodied red wine
150 ml (5 fl oz) strong beef stock
1½ tbsp cornflour
salt and pepper
Sweet potato mash
1 kg (2¼ lb) sweet potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
grated zest and juice of 1 orange
Prep:1hr15min › Cook:20min › Ready in:1hr35min
Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions. Cover and cook over a low heat for 8–10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally, until the onions are lightly browned all over.
Remove the onions to a plate using a draining spoon. Add the venison to the pan and cook, uncovered, over a moderately high heat for 2–3 minutes or until the cubes are well browned.
Add the onions, mushrooms, celery and thyme. Pour in the wine and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until the venison is tender.
Meanwhile, steam the sweet potatoes for 25 minutes or until tender. Alternatively, cook them in boiling water for 15 minutes, then drain.
Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5). Tip the sweet potatoes into a bowl and mash with the mustard, orange zest and juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Blend the cornflour with 2 tbsp cold water. Stir into the venison mixture and cook, stirring, until lightly thickened. Season to taste. Spoon the filling into a 1.2 litre (2 pint) pie dish.
Spread the sweet potato mash over the venison filling to cover it completely. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve the pie hot.
Some more ideas
The pie can be made ahead and chilled, then reheated in a preheated 190°C (375°F, gas mark 5) oven for 45 minutes or until piping hot. * Cover the venison filling with a potato and butternut mash. Steam 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) each peeled potatoes and butternut squash for 25 minutes, or cook in boiling water for about 15 minutes, until tender. Mash with 15 g (½ oz) butter and 2 tbsp snipped fresh chives. * For a rabbit pie, lightly brown 400 g (14 oz) boneless diced rabbit in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil with 100 g (3½ oz) diced smoked bacon. Add 2 large sliced leeks, 3 sliced carrots and 2 parsnips, cut into chunks. Stir in 300 ml (10 fl oz) white wine, 150 ml (5 fl oz) chicken stock and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard. Simmer, covered, for 45 minutes. Cover with the sweet potato mash, or the potato and butternut mash, and bake as in the main recipe.