Wild Game Wednesday: Venison Pasty
Mining communities across the globe have used the Cornish pasty for decades and the Upper Peninsula is one area where the tradition fervently continues. The venison pasty is a fantastic portable lunch, perfect for picnics, afternoons in the deer blind (which is where I expect most of you to be on this Wednesday, specifically), or as part of a hearty winter dinner. Check out the Gourmet Gone Wild venison pasty recipe below, and get ready to make some of your own!
3 Cups flour
11/2 TSP salt
¾ TSP baking powder
1 Cup shortening
2 TBSP venison fat
1 Cup water
1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 Cup ice
- Sift flour, salt, and baking powder together.
- Crumble in the shortening and venison fat, mix by hand until loosely combined. Do not over mix.
- Mix ice and water together and stir to thoroughly chill water, measure out ¾ cup water and combine, by hand, with the dough mix. Do not over mix. Set dough in cooler for a minimum of 2 hours or up to 24 hours.
- Place cold dough ball on well-floured counter and roll out to ¼-inch thickness, cut out 5-inch diameter circle. Keep dough circles in cooler until ready to fill.
11/2 Pounds venison roast
¼ Cup celery root
2 Cups sweet potato or winter squash
1 Medium yellow onion
4 Cloves garlic
2 TSP each of fresh chopped rosemary, sage, oregano, and thyme
Salt and pepper blend
1 Cup rendered goose or duck fat
2 TBSP butter
3 TBSP flour
2 Cups venison stock or beef stock
½ Cup Madeira wine, a dry port or sherry can also be substituted
Venison Pasty Stock:
- Trim the venison roast of all fat and sinew (reserve) and dice into ¼-inch cubes, sprinkle with salt and blended pepper.
- Peel and dice rutabaga, parsnip, turnip, celery root, and winter squash into ¼-inch cubes, reserve all peelings. Do not save the rutabaga peelings if your rutabaga has been commercially waxed.
- Dice half of the yellow onion and add to the venison trimmings and vegetable peelings, as well as 2 cloves of garlic.
- Warm ½ cup of goose fat in a medium stock pan and add trimming and peeling mixture and sauté for 5 minutes or until onions become translucent.
- Turn off flame and deglaze the pan with ¼ cup Madeira wine.
- Turn flame back on to medium and continue to sauté for 2 minutes, add the venison stock and reduce the total liquids by half. Strain off the solids and reserve liquid.
Venison Pasty Mix:
- Heat ¼ cup of goose fat in a large sauté pan until sizzling hot.
- Add the diced venison roast and sauté quickly, browning but only partially cooking all meat. Remove the venison and cool.
- Warm another ¼ cup of goose fat over medium heat and sauté all the diced vegetables plus the other diced half of yellow onion and garlic. Season with salt and pepper accordingly.
- Continue to cook for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, do not cook vegetables completely, leave them al dente.
- Remove and cool vegetables.
- Turn off flame and deglaze the pan with the remaining ¼ cup Madeira wine, reduce.
- Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan and melt.
- Stir in flour and sauté for 1 minute being sure to scrape all browned bits from bottom of pan then add the venison pasty stock, simmer and reduce until the liquids are nearly as viscous as gravy. Cool the liquids.
- Mix all the cooled (room temperature minimum) venison, vegetables and demi liquids together.
- Take pasty dough circles from cooler and fill half the circle with pasty mixture.
- Fold over the dough and pie roll the edges together. Crimp together with a fork if necessary.
- Filled pasties can be baked immediately or frozen until needed.
- Preheat oven to 400°F for fresh/thawed pasties or 375°F for frozen pasties.
- Pasties can be brushed with an egg white wash for a crisper crust.
- Bake until golden brown.
- Fresh/thawed pasties for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Frozen pasties for 20 to 25 minutes.
Check back every Wednesday for a new Wild Game Dish recipe, proudly used by MUCC’s Gourmet Gone Wild program! If you’re looking for more wild game and fish recipes check out the MUCC online store and purchase a copy of Wild Gourmet!