Field and Forest Pie


Prep time: 
30 minutes
Cooking time: 
180 minutes


A meal for a winter's weekend, with a delightful mixture of meat and veg.


  • 700g venison, cut into chunks
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 4 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 10 chestnut mushrooms
  • 100g streaky bacon, sliced
  • 1 stick of celery, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon redcurrant jelly
  • 2 teaspoon ketchup
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 swede, peeled and chopped
  • butter
  • flour to thicken
  • olive oil
  • pepper
  • nutmeg


  1. In a large pan over medium heat, gently fry the shallots, 50g bacon, celery & mushrooms in butter for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minute more.
  2. Tip the veg out, turn up the heat to high, add grapeseed oil, and brown the venison in batches. Don't stir too much so it has a chance to get really brown. Preheat the oven to between 160 - 170C.
  3. Add flour, wine and redcurrant jelly and bring to the boil, scraping all the brown bits off the pan, then put all the veg and meat back in and add the thyme, bay, ketchup and pepper. Add enough water to cover everything and bring back to the boil.
  4. Put in the oven for 2 1/2 hours, (checking after 1 1/2 - 2 hours that it hasn't dried out.) You can leave it to cool overnight at this point and do the swede the next day, or if you want to eat it straight away, start cooking the swede after the meat has been in the oven for 2 hours or so.
  5. Boil the swede until tender then mash and add butter, nutmeg and seasoning to taste.
  6. Fry the remaining bacon until crisp then crumble it into pieces. Mix most of it into the swede, saving some to put on top of the pie if you like.
  7. Remove the herbs from the meat, add a drop of water if it looks too dry, and give it a good stir if you want the big pieces of meat to break up a bit.
  8. Put the meat into the bottom of a shallow dish, then spread out the swede on top. Sprinkle the reserved bacon on top of the swede. Put back into the oven for 15 minutes or so to heat through.


Photo Credit: Jonny Hughes @jonny2love
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