Venison pie

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December 5, 2007

Serves 8

It works best to create this recipe over three days so you can soak the venison overnight, cook the meat and stock, and then complete the filling and assemble the pie.


1 cup white vinegar
2 gallons water
1 venison hindquarter roast, bone intact (5 to 6 pounds)

1. In a large pot, combine the vinegar and water. Add the venison and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next day, drain the venison. Return it to the pot. Add fresh water. Leave to soak for 45 minutes. Drain again.


2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 large stalks of celery, cut into 2-inch lengths
2 medium onions, quartered
1 large parsnip, cut into 2-inch lengths
1 large turnip, quartered
4 large mushrooms, quartered
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons ground thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups flour
3 cups water, room temperature

1. In a stockpot, combine the venison, carrots, celery, onions, parsnip, turnip, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, and plenty of salt and pepper. Add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 6 hours or until meat falls apart easily when tested with a fork. Add more water during cooking, if necessary.

2. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside to cool.

3. Return the pot to a medium-high heat. Let the stock bubble until it reduces to about half of its original volume. Strain the stock. Discard the vegetables. Cut the meat off the bone across the grain into 1 1/2-inch strips, discarding the bones and gristle. Coarsely shred the meat.

4. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Have on hand a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

5. In a bowl, combine flour and water to create a thin paste. Whisking the simmering stock vigorously, strain the flour paste through a fine mesh strainer into the stock to thicken it. Add enough of the paste to thicken the mixture only until it coats a wooden spoon. Taste the gravy for seasoning and add salt and pepper, if you like.

6. In the baking dish, layer the meat and gravy; keep warm while preparing the crust.


3 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt, and more to taste
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup whole milk
Flour (for rolling)
1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon milk

1. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. With two blunt knives, work in the shortening until the mixture resembles crumbs.

2. Add the milk and toss the mixture with your fingertips until it forms moist clumps and just comes together to form a dough (resist over-mixing, which will result in a tough crust).

3. On a lightly floured counter, roll the dough to a 9-by-13-inch rectangle and to 3/8-inch thickness. Cut a 1 1/2-inch hole in the center for steam to escape. Lift the dough onto the rolling pin and ease it onto the filling.

4. Add a pinch of salt to the egg mixture. Brush the dough with the mixture and transfer to the oven.

5. Bake the pie for 35 minutes or until the inside is hot and the crust is golden brown. Adapted from Toby Balivet; crust adapted from Steve Cobb of Danville Inn

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