New Zealand Venison

Bitter Chocolate Venison Pie with Potato and Celeriac Topping

Serves: 6     Preparation: 30 mins     Time to cook: 1 hour    



1 kg diced venison

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 tablespoon flour

300 mls robust red wine


freshly ground black pepper



1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

4 sage leaves, chopped

sprig rosemary, chopped

3 cloves

4 juniper berries, crushed

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons robust red wine

freshly ground black pepper



175 g plain flour

30 g cocoa powder

¼ teaspoon salt

125 g butter

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon very cold water



2 large pototoes (about 800g)

2 medium celeriac (about 650g)

225 mls whole milk (approx)

50 g butter


freshly ground black pepper

freshly grated nutmeg


Best Recipe Using An Alternative Cut - 2011 New Zealand Guild of Food Writers Venison Recipe Competition

Margaret Brooker won the section for best use of an alternative cut with this imaginative take on a pastry cased pie.  The sumptrious venison filling complementing the bitterness of the choclate pastry case, topped off with the smooth creamness of the potato and celeric topping.

Recipe by Margaret Brooker


Mix the venison with all the marinade ingredients and marinate in a cool place for several hours. Drain, reserving the marinade.

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pan and fry the meat at a high heat until brown all over. Do this in stages so the pan is not overcrowded. Sprinkle over the flour and brown briefly, then stir in the reserved marinade, scraping any meat residue from the pan. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer. Return meat to the pan, cover and cook at very low heat until the meat is tender and the sauce reduced to thickly coat the meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


Sift the flour, salt and cocoa together into a bowl. Cut, then rub the butter into the flour mixture until it looks crumbly. Beat the egg yolk and water together in a small bowl, and stir into the mixture until it clumps together.

Alternatively, combine the flour, salt and cocoa in a food processor, pulse in the butter and then the egg yolk and water.

Form the pastry into a disc, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out into a circle on a lightly floured surface and line a 26 cm pie dish. If the pastry tears, patch pieces into the pie dish and press the seams together. Cover the pastry with crumpled greaseproof paper and top with blind baking beans or rice. Chill for 30 minutes.


Peel, dice and boil the potato and celeriac in salted water until tender. Drain well. Mash potato and celeriac  - a potato ricer gives a good result. Place mash in a clean pot to one side. Pour most of the milk into the other side of the pot and warm it. Stir the mash into the warmed milk, adding more milk to reach a soft spreadable but not runny consistency. Stir in the butter. Season to taste with salt pepper and nutmeg.


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Bake the pastry case for 10 minutes, then remove the greaseproof paper and blind baking beans/rice and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Spoon the venison and sauce into the pastry case. Cover the venison with the potato and celeriac mash. Heat until well warmed through and serve.