With dirty mash and creamed spiniach
This fallow pie is a truly British delight – rich, dark and super tasty. Imagine a big steaming bowl of slippery, tender chunks of wild Cotswold fallow deer shoulder, cooked ever so slowly until the meat almost comes apart. Big, apricot-coloured chanterelles sit amongst chunks of bacon and caramelised baby onions, all hidden under a lid of flaky, suety, slightly chewy pastry. Now pop that baby on a big plate with perfect local veg and a cast iron pot of The Woodsman’s infamous dirty mash. Autumn heaven, Warwickshire style. I’m sure Mr Shakespeare, who lived the other side of the road from us, would have approved…
One big fallow shoulder will do about 6 portions of this delicious pie. The flaky, slightly greasy suet pastry really goes well with the rich, unctuous filling, and the perfect, apricot-coloured chanterelles really set the whole thing off.
1.5kg fallow shoulder, diced
1 large onion, diced
12 cloves garlic, peeled
200g pancetta or smoked
24 baby onions, peeled
1 litre dark beef stock
1 bottle good red wine
Mixed hard herbs
1 tbsp flour
- Start with a big heavy casserole or pan. Flour the venison chunks and add a big knob of butter and a splash of oil. Brown the meat in batches until it’s all done, adding oil and butter as necessary.
- Next, remove the meat, add more butter and oil to the pan and add the onion, baby onions, garlic and bacon. Cook until the pan has deglazed and everything is coloured.
- Add the red wine and cook for 5 minutes, then tip the whole lot into a casserole. Add the stock and herbs and put the lid on.
- Cook at 160ºC for 3 hours in the oven.
- Carefully lift out the solids and reduce the sauce, adding a knob of butter to enrich.
- Ladle the meat into pie dishes and cover with 4mm-thick pastry, which is then glazed with beaten egg. Bake at 210ºC for 30 minutes.
- We serve this dish with our signature dirty mash and creamed spinach, though it will pair beautifully with fresh seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes.