Deer and Beer Pie

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I once laid over in London while traveling to Morocco and spent the night in a lovely cottage that had an amazing pub downstairs. It was something you have seen in the movies. A dark room with stone clad walls and a crackling fireplace. I am pretty sure it was lit only by candle and oil lamp. I grabbed a fresh pint of beer and sat at a table next to the fire. I squinted in the firelight as I read each menu item line by line. The one item that caught my attention was a beef and ale pie, aka pot pie or meat pie. 

I ordered the pie and happily sipped my beer staring into the abyss of the cozy tavern. Within just a few minutes the server bounced over and served me my pie. I was very happy to crack through the crispy crust and dip my spoon into the rich dark gravy beneath. As I spooned in the first bite, I was consumed by this dish. Perfectly cooked vegetables, firm but tender meat, rich hoppy gravy. I was in love and ate the whole meal without breaking for a breath. 

This dish is inspired by that moment and has hung around in my mind since that night. Feel free to use Phyllo dough or puff pastry for this meat pie. I also cooked mine on the smoker which added some smoky flavors to the entire dish. If you don’t like ale then sub a dark porter or stout. I would lean away from hoppy beers for this dish. Think rich, balanced, and comforting… more cozy British tavern and less summertime BBQ. Cheers!

Serving Size: 4-6

Time to make: 1 hour

Also works with: Any game roast

Special Equipment: Pie Pan, brush for oiling, and scissors

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Deer and Beer Pie

Recipe by Justin TownsendCourse: Dinner, LunchCuisine: British, Australian, AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

30

minutes

I once laid over in London while traveling to Morocco and spent the night in a lovely cottage that had an amazing pub downstairs. It was something you have seen in the movies. A dark room with stone clad walls and a crackling fireplace. I am pretty sure it was lit only by candle and oil lamp. I grabbed a fresh pint of beer and sat at a table next to the fire. I squinted in the firelight as I read each menu item line by line. The one item that caught my attention was a beef and ale pie, aka pot pie or meat pie. 

I ordered the pie and happily sipped my beer staring into the abyss of the cozy tavern. Within just a few minutes the server bounced over and served me my pie. I was very happy to crack through the crispy crust and dip my spoon into the rich dark gravy beneath. As I spooned in the first bite, I was consumed by this dish. Perfectly cooked vegetables, firm but tender meat, rich hoppy gravy. I was in love and ate the whole meal without breaking for a breath. 

This dish is inspired by that moment and has hung around in my mind since that night. Feel free to use Phyllo dough or puff pastry for this meat pie. I also cooked mine on the smoker which added some smoky flavors to the entire dish. If you don’t like ale then sub a dark porter or stout. I would lean away from hoppy beers for this dish. Think rich, balanced, and comforting… more cozy British tavern and less summertime BBQ. Cheers!

Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs of venison roast, cubed 1”

  • 2 tbsp flour

  • 1 tsp salt

  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp cumin

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 cup ale

  • 1 cup game stock (sub beef stock)

  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce

  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 celery stock, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • ½ onion, diced

  • 2 thyme sprigs

  • 2 tbsp flour + 2 tbsp game or beef stock

  • Phyllo dough or puff pastry dough, thawed

Preparation

  • In a large bowl, toss the meat in the flour, salt, pepper, and cumin.
  • Bring a large skillet to high heat on the stove and melt 2 tbsp of butter
  • Once heated, add the cubed meat and quickly brown on each side. Brown bits will collect on the bottom. This is good. You will deglaze the pan and these will add flavor
  • Once browned, add the ale, beef stock, bbq sauce, Worcestershire sauce, celery, carrot, garlic, onion, and thyme. Bring the mixture to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Whisk together the 2 tbsp flour and 2 tbsp of stock until there are no lumps.
  • Stir this into the mixture and simmer for an additional 5 minutes. You will see the sauce begin to thicken. 
  • Remove the mixture from the stove and place in a large bowl to cool. You can place the bowl in the fridge or freezer to speed up the process. 
  • While waiting, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Oil the inside of the pie pan or glass dish.
  • Overlap a series of 5-6 pieces of phyllo dough to create the bottom part of your pie crust. Trim around the outside of the dough with scissors or a sharp knife.
  • Lightly brush oil onto the top of the bottom crust. Place in the oven and bake for 5-8 minutes or until it begins to brown. 
  • Remove the pie from the oven and add the filling if cooled. 
  • Place one sheet of phyllo dough over the top of the pie. Lightly brush oil onto the top. Repeat this process 5 more times 5 more sheets. Trim around the outside of the dough with scissors or a sharp knife.
  • Place the pie in the over for 10-15 minutes or until the phyllo dough crust is a nice golden brown color. 
  • Remove from the oven, allow to cool slightly, and enjoy!

Justin Townsend

Justin (Choctaw) is an avid hunter, angler, and chef whose passions for the outdoors lead him to create Harvesting Nature in 2011. He continues to hunt, fish, and cook all while sharing his experiences with others through film, on podcasts, in print, and with recipes. He also proudly serves in the United States Coast Guard in Key West, FL.

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