Harvest Festival McLaren Vale
Early January's visit to McLaren Vale to cook at the inaugural Harvest Festival; amazing local support and an unexpected huge crowd. A quick detour to Wilunga Farmers Market (thanks for all the free product for my demos to the stall holders, you know who you are) for Venison, Berries, butter, herbs, veggies and oils to make vension pies with berry jus......Oh and thx to the 10 mad keen kids who jumped up from the audience to make the puff pastry and help fill the pies....heres the recipe
My Compass Venison pies with blackberry jus
Venison 1.5 kg Mt Compass venison "trim" ( this is available from Wilunga Farmers market and is all the perfect cuts for braising , shoulder, neck ect and is really cheap, they will know what you are talking about)
3 tablespoon plain flour
1 bottle red wine
1/ 2 head of garlic peeled and cloves bashed with the back of a knife
2 leeks , whites chopped
2 sticks celery chopped
1 onion diced
A few sprigs each majoram, oregano and thyme.
Zest from one lemon
1 bay leaf
Teaspoon juniper berry
Tea spoon black pepper corns
750 ml cups brown ( beef or chicken) stock
80 g Paris Creek B-d- Farm butter
60 ml Hardings extra virgin olive oil
250 g field or swiss brown mushrooms
2 tomatoes chopped
1 tablespoon sea salt flakes
1 punnet blackberry's
2 tablespoon milk
Dice the venison into 2 to 3 cm chunks and pour the red wine over , allow to marinate overnight if possible( 4 hours min) with garlic , onion ,celery, leeks herbs , juniper and pepper.
Drain the next day, discard wine. in a heavy based pan over a medium heat fry the onion , celery , leek and garlic until well coloured in the olive oil, remove from pan and set aside. Add butter , dust the vension in all the flour and add to pan, seal until well colored (in batches if the pan is not big enough )with juniper , herbs and pepper.
Add mushroom and tomato and saute about 6 to 8 mins , add back veggies to pan with meat, deglaze with about 200 ml red wine ( not the stuff you used in the marinade , use new wine) . Reduce for two to three mins on high heat, add stock , lemon zest, salt and turn heat down very low, put a lid on and braise for about 2 hours until tender ( or put in a casserole dish with a lid in a 1240 C oven ) . Check liquid level while cooking, it should be just covering the meat.
When the venison is cooked the braising liquid should be fairly thick and covering all the meat, if too thin just add a touch of cornflour in water and heat for a minute to thicken otherwise the pie pastry will sog. If there is not enough liquid or it is too thick add more stock or water. Remove about 180 ml of the braising liquid liquid and mush the blackberry's through it for the sauce.
Cool the pie mix in the fridge until it is firm and no longer viscous and runny.
Rough puff pastry for pies
200g plain flour ( plus a little extra for dusting)
200g chilled Paris Creek B-d- Farm butter cubed into 1 cm squares
1/ 2 tsp salt
110 ml really cold water.
Place flour on bench and make a well, cut butter into flour using a pastry card or lightly mix through to form a clump with your finger tips ( try not to knead the dough !)
Pour over water
Gather together ( don't knead it , just pull it into a lump)
Dust bench lightly with a little flour
Roll into a rectangle about a cm or so thick (and about 30 cm long ) , the dough will still be all crumbly ,don't worry this is fine.
You now need to "book" the dough. This is basically a method of folding and then turning the dough to create layers....
Gather a third of the dough from one end and fold it over on top of the rolled dough , repeat with other end . The dough now looks like an "open book" .Fold it in half along the seam you have created in previous step to "close the book" .
Turn the dough a quarter of a turn ( ie 90 degrees) re roll into 3 times the size ( ie back down to 1 cm) and book into 1/3rds again per the previous step and repeat the process. You have now turned the dough 3 times , finally roll down to 4 mm thick .
Now put the dough in the freezer ( cut it if it is too long ) to seize the pastry for 20 mins( ie re chill the butter )
Cut into 12 discs about 10 cm diameter.
Preheat and oven to 230 C.
Place a good hand full of the pie mix on 6 of the discs leaving about a cm on the edge.
Lightly wet the edge, pop a disc of pastry on top and press down to seal .
Mix the egg and milk together and coat the top of the pies with egg wash and pop a few knife stabs in the top to allow steam to escape.
Bake on trays in oven for 10 mins at 230 C and then for a further 10 mins at 180 C or until pastry is golden.
Serve with the blackberry sauce.