25 October 2011

Day 25-31 Days of Samhuinn Cooking-Venison Pasty

I first made these over the summer from a venison roast we found in the freezer. I am blessed to have a family of hunters who rely on hunting season to help provide meat throughout the winter for the families and it is done with tremendous respect on their part.

As is with all of my cooking, there are no measurements because I cook/create by the seat of my pants.  What I really need is an assistant who watches everything I do and records it all.  Anyway, this version is the latest rendition, tinkered with the filling to reflect the preparing for winter, stick to your bones type food I crave as the weather grows chilly.

Venison Pasty

2 cups venison-ground or cubed (remove all of the connective tissue from the meat)
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/2 cup porcini mushrooms, sliced thin
1 small onion. chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-2TB olive oil
1 cup marsala wine
3TB prepared horseradish(not the mayo-looking horseradish sauce)
1/2 cup chutney (apple or rhubarb are good but whatever appeals will work)
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground allspice
salt and pepper, to taste
pinch of ground sage
1 egg, beaten
sliced sharp cheddar
pastry crust (I used a packet of 2 9" crusts)

Preheat oven 400*
In a large pan over medium-high heat saute butternut squash with garlic and onion in olive oil  until soft, add mushrooms and wine and continue to cook for a few minutes until wine reduces.  Remove from heat and let cool.  In a large bowl add cubed venison, horseradish, chutney, thyme, salt and pepper, allspice, coriander and ground sage. Stir in cooled squash mixture.  Spoon mixture into one side pastry circles (abt 6"diameter) and top filling with a slice of cheddar. Paint edges of crust with egg wash and fold other half of dough over filling and press to seal, be sure to gently work all of the air out.  Finish the edges with a fork pressed gently into the dough.  Lay on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 400* then reduce heat to 350* and continue baking for another 45minutes of until bubbly and golden brown.

~Stephanie Lowell-Libby

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