venison cottage pie

Gordon Ramsay

serves 4

I’ve updated this family favourite by using venison instead of beef and adding swede to the potato. Leave the topping to cool before beating in the egg yolks, then you can assemble the pie, cover and chill for up to three days in the fridge.

2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
500g venison, cut into small dice
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and finely grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato purée
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped

6 juniper berries, crushed
250ml red wine
2 tsp plain flour
300ml beef stock

for the topping
500g Desirée potatoes
350g swede
50g butter
Parmesan, for grating
2 large egg yolks

Heat the oil in a large pan until hot. Season the venison and fry in the oil over moderate to high heat for 7-8 mins until evenly browned. Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the venison and stir frequently for another 4-5 mins, until the vegetables begin to soften.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, tomato purée, rosemary and juniper and cook for another 1-2 mins, stirring constantly. Pour in the red wine and let it boil until it is almost totally reduced. Stir the plain flour into the venison mixture and cook for a further 1-2 mins. Slowly pour in the beef stock while stirring, then bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 mins, until the venison is tender and the sauce has thickened.

Meanwhile, peel and cut the potatoes and swede into large, equal-sized chunks. Boil the vegetables in salted water until tender. Drain well, then return to the hot pan over a low heat to dry out briefly. Mash the potatoes, swede and butter together, then mix in 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan and season well to taste. Finally, beat in the egg yolks and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6. Spoon the venison mixture into the bottom of a large oven-proof dish, about 1 litre in volume. Spoon the potato and swede mash on top, starting from the outside and working your way into the middle. Fluff up the mash with a fork to make rough peaks, then sprinkle over some black pepper and extra parmesan. Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 20-25 mins, until bubbling and golden brown.