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Venison pie with root veg crisps

Posted this on I Love Cooking )(on the cheapo recipes thread, hence the various economic recipes thread), but I thought it was high time Coastalblog had an update, poor neglected soul that it is. In work I actually use a mix of venison, partridge, rabbit and mallard for this:

Game, god bless it, is pretty cheap (or it is round here, anyway) at the mo. So, diced venison goes in a big dish with butter, chopped onion, a little garlic, nutmeg, paprika, brown gently, pop in a couple of tablespoons of plain flour and stir further, add water to the alligator lurking in a swamp level and leave, covered, to putter away merrily to itself for three hours or so on the lowest heat you can manage. Towards the end, should you be lucky enough to have some thyme or rosemary knocking about in your garden, apply judiciously. If you don't, buy some. It keeps well and a little goes a long way. Naturally, if you're using the dried stuff put it in nearer the start.

At this juncture it's worth pointing out that if you have some odds and sods of red wine floating about, or (praise be) some of that pure stock jelly left from draining a chicken's roasting tin and chilling it then that will do nicely in place of some of the water. But just water is fine.

Make a very short pastry. Lard, please. it's cheaper. You'll be needing to use the flour what with the bag you opened to stir in with the venison. Beat one egg, half for the pastry and half for the glaze. Make pie lids.

Accompaniament: parsnip, carrot and beetroot sliced very very thin, no more than 3-4mm (a mandolin is handy here, knives for the more confident). Spread out on a baking tray, salt well, toss with olive oil and crisp up in the oven (keeping a reasonably sharp eye out, these can go from phenomenal to catastrophic in a few minutes). You've some herbs left you say? Hell, toss them with these!

Glop venison on plate, perch pie lid jauntily atop, serve a bowl of the crisps on the side. If you've some cabbage knocking about shred it, butter it and fry it.

Costs buttons.


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