Friday, 12 March 2010

Scottish Game Pie with Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

View from Glen Branter Forestry PathThe beautiful, sparsely populated areas of Scotland means that Scotland has a very wide range of wild game to choose from. Everywhere from Glen Branter (pictured right) in beautiful Argyll, to the stunning heart of Scotland in Perthshire, to the rugged majesty of the Highlands and more, wild game from pheasant and grouse to the magical red deer can be found aplenty. Most Scottish Game Pie Recipes will include a mixture of the different types of game. My recipe featured and pictured below, however, includes only my own personal favourite: venison.

It is worth pointing out, perhaps, that venison is a word which can actually cause a little bit of confusion on a planetary scale. The word venison is - by literal definition - a generic term, used to apply to the meat of many related mammals such as deer, elk and caribou. (I almost included moose as an example in the previous sentence, before I realised that could really confuse matters as, to many Scots, a "Moose," is a mouse - most definitely not a form of venison!) In Scotland and indeed throughout the UK, however, venison and deer meat will almost always be considered to be synonymous.

This recipe for two people is in no way difficult to prepare but the length of time required to do so is due to the long, slow cooking time required by the venison.


3/4lb diced venison haunch
1/2 medium sized onion (roughly chopped)
6 button mushrooms (halved down through centre)
5oz puff pastry
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 pints fresh beef stock (No, I never get tired of saying it: none of those disgusting little chemical cubes!)
3 large potatoes
14 to 16 Brussels Sprouts
Pinch of nutmeg
Salt and pepper
A little milk for glazing the pie
Sunflower oil for deep frying


The first step is to cook the venison. Wash any excess blood off it and dry the meat with kitchen towel. Put it in to a large pot along with the onion and brown it over a high heat, stirring continously with a wooden spoon. Add the beef stock (pre-heated) and the thyme and simmer for two to two and a half hours until the venison is tender. The liquid may very well require to be topped up at some point during this period and simple boiling water may be used. The mushrooms should be added at the end of the simmering period, stirred through, the pot covered and the meat allowed to cool.

The oven should be put on to pre-heat to 200C or equivalent. The venison, vegetables and stock should then be transferred to an appropriate pie dish. The pastry should be rolled out to a thickness of between an eighth and a quarter of an inch and placed carefully on top, taking care to seal the edges. The pie should then be glazed with a little milk and a couple of slits made in the top to allow steam to escape during cooking. The pie should be placed in to the hot oven for thrity-five, to forty minutes, until beautifully golden brown.

The potatoes should be peeled, chopped and boiled in salted water for fifteen minutes. After which time, they should be thoroughly drained and added to hot oil for a further ten minutes, until crisp and golden.

The Brussels sprouts should be cleaned and simmered in boiling water for no more than eight to ten minutes, depending on the size of the sprouts. Any longer will see them over-cooked and soggy. One of the main reasons why children don't like Brussels sprouts is that they are forced to eat them in this distasteful fashion. When the Brussels sprouts are thus cooked, they should be drained before being returned to the pot and swirled in a little butter and a pinch of ground nutmeg.

This delicious Scottish Game Pie with roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts may thereafter be plated up and served, as shown below.

Scottish Game Pie with Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Would you like to find out more about Wild Game and Wild Game Recipes?

There are presently two excellent books available on both and featuring lots of great information on everything from how to clean wild game, to how to cook it, to some great recipe suggestions. For your convenience, I have linked to both of them with handy and panels below.

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