An eye for a pie


We have just finished washing up two days worth of cooking. And now, finally...can sit down by the fire, finish the last of the red wine and maybe the crumble and honey ice cream too. 

The Farm Kitchen was going great guns this weekend; we had a venison pie cooking class and lunch on Saturday (recipes below) and a relaxed Sunday lunch of osso buco and crumble today. Thank you to our lovely guests for making both lunches so much fun. Alice has just returned to us from her first sleep over and Tom spent a happy day with the undivided attention of his favourite babysitter (thank you Kathy!).

Gina Allen's venison pie

2kg venison chuck steak cut in 3cms pieces
1 8mm slice of smokey bacon cut into lardoons
1 red onion diced
3 cloves garlic finely chopped
1 tbls each rosemary, sage, thyme and marjoram finely chopped
1 tbls juniper berries lightly crushed in mortar and pestle
Plain flour
Salt and pepper
2 x 375ml bottles James Squire amber ale
1 cup veal stock
¼ cup sultanas
5 roma tomatoes-quartered and halved
1 eggplant cubed
Puff pastry

Cook onions in olive oil till translucent then add garlic and bacon and cook for a further 5 minutes. Add herbs and juniper berries. Mix flour and a tspn of paprika and coat meat and shake off excess.Fry in batches in hot oil to brown and put in pan with onion, bacon and garlic.
Add beer and bring to boil then add stock and bring back to boil.
Taste and add salt and pepper.

Cover with a lid and put in fan forced oven 160 C for about 1 hour. Check meat and add eggplant and tomatoes and sultanas and cook for another 40 mins or until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily. To thicken make a roux (50gm butter, melted and then whisk in 50 gm p flour) and add liquid to the roux and then add back into pot and cook for extra 15 mins. Cool down and when cold make individual pies of a large pie with a puff pastry lid, glaze with eggwash and cook in oven 200 C till golden, about 15 mins. 

Elizabeth David’s Chocolate Cake and chocolate ganache sauce
If you haven't made this cake before please give it a try. It's so easy, freezes beautifully and always, always tastes amazing. Yesterday we served this with spiced poached pears, hot chocolate ganache and honey ice cream. Um. Yum.

250 g bitter dark chocolate 
150 g caster sugar

150 g butter

100 g ground almonds

5 eggs, free range, separated

Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt chocolate, sugar & butter in a double boiler, stirring regularly until the mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat, stir through the almonds and then beat in the egg yolks, one by one.
Beat the whites to stiff peaks then fold those in also. It helps to mix in about a quarter of the egg to the mix first to lighten it, then fold in the remainder. Turn the batter into a greased and floured cake tin - 20cm round or square and bake for 40-50 minutes.


  1. This pie sounds incredible! Do you stock your venison anywhere in Melbourne? I'd love to try some!

    1. Hi Louisa, it really was so yummy! If you'd like to source our venison in Melbourne you can contact our wholesaler in Brunswick - Chef's Choice, ask for Carlo. 9386 3888! I think the minimum order would be a couple of kgs but you can always freeze what you don't use straight away. Thanks so much for your comment, Kindest, Sophie

  2. Beautiful, Sophie. And the table looks amazing as well. I was admiring your 'Farm Kitchen' in your events area earlier in the week and thinking how lovely it would be. x


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