Pic of Venison and ale casserole or pie

Venison and ale casserole or pie

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Meat mains

Venison and ale casserole or pie

Main Serves 4 2h
This venison dish is a hearty winter warmer best enjoyed after an ambitious winter walk. Eat with roast carrots, buttery cabbage and celeriac and potato mash, or potato mash laced with a scoop of wholegrain mustard.

Cook's notes

For a different kind of topping, remove a ladle of liquid and mix with a little more mustard. Top with slices of stale French bread, brush with the liquid/mustard mix and bake (again at 180°C/Gas 4) until the bread begins to toast.


  • 30g butter
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 650g diced venison
  • 1 tbsp seasoned plain flour
  • 200ml strong ale
  • 100ml beef stock (or strong chicken stock)
  • 1 tbsp vinegar (cheap balsamic is good)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 bouquet garni
  • 1 tbsp beer mustard, or similar
  • puff, flaky or rough puff pastry (if you're making a pie)
  • salt and pepper


Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 1h 30 min
  • Step 1

    Preheat oven to 160°C/Gas 3. Melt the butter in a heavy casserole dish and fry the onions and garlic over a medium heat until lightly golden.
  • Step 2

    Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside. Toss the diced venison in seasoned flour and brown in the remaining butter - you may have to do this in two batches.
  • Step 3

    When all the meat is browned, return the onions and previously browned batch of venison to the casserole.
  • Step 4

    Pour in the ale and stock, and scrape around the pan to incorporate the meat juices and flour into the sauce.
  • Step 5

    Now add the vinegar, sugar, mustard and the bouquet garni, cover and place in the oven, stirring occasionally.
  • Step 6

    After 90 minutes, check the seasoning and discard the bouquet garni.
  • Step 7

    For a pie, tip into a suitable dish, top with puff, flaky or rough puff pastry, increase the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and bake until the pastry is cooked.
  • Step 8

    Serve with celeriac mash and Savoy cabbage.

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