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November 21, 2006

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 4:56 pm

The problem with living in a student flat is that you have to share a fridge. The fridges are, more often than not, FAR TOO BlOODY SMALL. Even if they aren’t too small, in the interests of saving money, students will bulk-buy rubbish until either the door won’t shut or the fridge refuses to chill anything anymore.

This is the situation in Goon’s flat, where the majority of my ‘exciting’ cooking is done. It’s reached that nasty stage when everything in the fridge is either at the front and warm or at the back and frozen. Unfortunately my leftover pheasant fell into category 1 and reeked more than a little on the day when I’d decided to make a mixed game pie.

So I thought, “Ok, just venison and rabbit in the pie then.” Thenl I remembered that the unfortunate disability of our last rabbit meant we had none left over. So that left just venison and not all that much of it. :(  

Digging frantically through the fridge, I found a dubious substitute for the pheasant. The left-over roasted guinea-fowl we’d had with pomegranate dressing a couple of days earlier . The pie needed bulking out, so in that went.

And eventually, out came this.

 Vension Pie

Admittedly, pheasant would have given the pie a little extra richness but the guinea fowl was ok. The slow braised venison was lovely. I’d had it marinating in red wine, port, beef stock, with garlic, cloves, halved chestnut mushrooms and rosemary for about 12 hours, then put it in the oven at Gas Mark 2 for 3 hours.

After taking it out of the oven, I decided it needed a little something extra so I added a square of dark chocolate and some cranberry sauce before stirring in and heating through the guinea fowl. Then I made a shortcrust pastry base, put in the filling and topped it all with a puff pastry lid. Finally I glazed the pie and  baked it until the pastry was cooked. 

In my opinion, a nice ruby port makes a big difference to a venison pie. The two flavours go together so well! This pie ended up being very good value for money too. It used about 500g of venison (for £5) and about a quarter of the £2 guinea fowl and made four fairly big portions.

I can see this being repeated many times this winter :)


  1. You cook everything I want to make. I am filled with jealousy.

    Comment by Garrett — November 21, 2006 @ 7:47 pm

  2. I’ve never tried using chocolate in savoury dishes but I’ve heard it gives a wonderful richness and I can imagine it does. Hmm…might have to try that one day, but I daren’t tell Rob I’ve used it - he’s never gotten over the time I gave him strawberries with balsamic vinegar.

    Comment by Julia — November 21, 2006 @ 8:24 pm

  3. And I’m filled with jealousy when I see your cupcakes, Garrett!

    Julia - a good one to start with is chilli con carne (or veggie alternative if you prefer). I guarantee he won’t even notice it in that and will just be asking how you managed to make the sauce so rich.

    Comment by ros — November 29, 2006 @ 1:51 pm

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