Venison pie

Venison pie

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  • 8
  • Medium
  • 50 minutes, plus 1 - 2 days' marinating time
  • 5 hours
  • Woolworths Simonsig Pinotage 2015


  • 1.5 - 2 kg venison shoulder (in one piece)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 - 2 free-range lamb knuckles
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 t Ina Paarman’s garlic-and-herb seasoning
  • 1 litre water
  • 2 1⁄2 T vegetable stock powder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 10 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 t ground coriader
  • 1 T Ina Paarman’s seasoned sea salt
  • Ready-made puff pastry or sour cream pastry
  • 1⁄2 free-range egg, beaten
  • For the sauce:
  • Onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1⁄2 t Ina Paarman’s green onion seasoning
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 cup Pinotage
  • ½ cup wine vinegar
  • 1 x 200 ml sachet Woolworths Simply Heat pepper sauce
  • Onion, spiked with cloves
  • 4 Cloves

Cooking Instructions

1. Remove the tough outer membrane from the meat. Coat the venison with the buttermilk and marinate for 1–2 days in the fridge. Dry the meat with kitchen paper and discard the buttermilk. Brown the lamb knuckles in the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Remove using a slotted spoon, season with garlic-and-herb seasoning and set aside.

2. Brown the venison in the same pan, remove and season. Add the remaining ingredients to the saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the browned meat, cover with a tight-fitting lid and simmer gently until the meat is tender and begins to pull away from the bone (3–4 hours), or cover with foil or greaseproof paper and bake one shelf below the middle in a slow oven (160°C) also for 3½–4 hours. Cool, flake the meat, remove the bones and reserve the pan juices.

3. To make the sauce, season the onion with green onion seasoning and sauté in fresh oil until soft and golden. Add the wine and vinegar and boil rapidly over a very high heat until only about ½ cup liquid remains. Add the reserved pan juices and pepper sauce. If there is less than 2½–3 cups sauce, add more water. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add the flaked meat.

4. Spoon the filling into a large pie dish. Wedge the onion spiked with 4 cloves into the middle of the dish to support the pastry. Cover with a layer of pastry, brush with egg, then decorate with pastry strips, also brushed with egg. (It will freeze well up to this stage). Bake at 200°C for 45 minutes. A frozen pie must be left to thaw, covered with clingfilm, to prevent moisture on the pastry. Bake for 10 minutes longer if still cold when it goes into the oven.

Cook's note: My late mother, Nellie Jooste, was the champion pastry cook in the family. She produced this masterpiece for special occasions. The venison needs to be marinated for 1 to 2 days to tenderise it. The lamb is added to “tone down the strong flavour”. You can use good quality, store-bought pastry to save time.

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Ina Paarman Recipe by: Ina Paarman
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