By way of a sad farewell to the British game season, Victoria thought she’d indulge in a final fling for British Pie Week with a venison and beetroot pie. But not just any pie. This is a gluten free pie made with homemade puff pastry.
This puff contains actual layers and is soft and tender. It takes a little time to make, but there’s no need to keep chilling it between rolling like with wheat puff, in fact, if this pastry is too chilled it becomes impossible to work with. So, if you’ve popped the detrempé in the fridge and forgotten about it, you will need to bring it back up to just below room temperature or it will be too brittle and crumble as soon as you hit it with your rolling pin.
I have found that with GF puff, if you use as much butter as in wheat recipes, the layers don’t puff up quite as well and the result is more like flaky pastry – which is no bad thing. If you want a more buttery crust for your pie add an extra 100g of butter to the recipe below, but if your objective is all about ensuring you have those elusive layers, then stick to the measurements below. Your arteries will certainly thank you for it - especially if this becomes a regular recipe in your repertoire.
For those gluten dodgers out there who don’t want to roll their sleeves up, don’t despair! You won’t have to miss out on puff pastry treats for much longer. Genius has now launched puff pastry in 400g blocks
. It’s currently only available in selected branches of Asda, but, with any luck, it will find its way onto more supermarket shelves soon.
Gluten-free Venison and Beetroot Pie
For the venison and beetroot filling
500g diced venison
1 heaped tbsp gluten free plain flour/rice flour
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 handfuls of chestnut mushrooms, chopped
4 rashers of smoked bacon
2 beetroots, peeled and chopped
A generous squirt of tomato puree
A forkful of red wine
A few sprigs of fresh thyme, picked
2 bay leaves
1 pint of chicken or beef stock
Salt and pepper
For the gluten free puff pastry
125g potato flour
75g rice flour, plus more for dusting
50g tapioca flour
1 tsp. xanthan gum
½ tsp. salt
150 -175ml cold water
2 tsp. lemon juice
150g unsalted butter, left out of the fridge for an hour to soften slightly
1 egg beaten for glazing
To make the filling, coat the venison in the flour and fry in a large saucepan with a splash of oil until browned. Remove the meat with a slotted spoon and reserve for later. Tip in the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, mushrooms, beetroot and bacon into the saucepan and sauté until soft. Tip the venison and any juices back in the pan and stir in the tomato puree and wine. Add the herbs and stock and season generously. Leave to simmer for an hour and a half, stirring every now and then. Taste for seasoning and adjust as necessary.
In the meantime, make the pastry. Sift together the different flours and xanthan gum and stir in the salt. Measure out the water and stir in the lemon juice. Add half of the water and mix together thoroughly with one hand, adding more until you have a soft but not sticky dough. This is called the detrempé. Wrap in cling film and pop the detrempé in the fridge for half an hour.
Lightly flour the work surface with rice flour and roll the detrempé into a rectangle about half a centimetre thick. Next, wrap the butter in greaseproof paper and bash it until it is flat. Remove the greaseproof and lay the butter in the middle of the detrempé. Wrap it up like a present and turn it over. Roll again, flouring if necessary, until the dough is a rectangle. Fold the dough like a business letter, folding the edge furthest away from you into the middle and then folding the edge closest to you over the top. Turn the pastry 90 degrees, so that the folded edges are running vertically up the right side facing you, like a book. Re-roll the pastry and repeat the folding, turning and rolling another 5 times (or more if you like!). Wrap the pastry in cling film and return it to the fridge for about half an hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan)/400°F/Gas Mark 6
Spoon the venison and beetroot filling into a pie dish. On a floured surface, roll out the pastry and slice off a long strip as wide as the rim of the pie dish. Use a little beaten egg to stick the strip to the edge of the pie dish. Brush the strip with more egg, then lift the rest of the pastry over the pie filling to glue it on. Trim the edges with a sharp knife. Brush the top with more beaten egg to glaze and cut a "V" shaped incision into the middle of the pie to allow steam to escape. You can use a pie bird if you prefer. Bake for 30 mins or until the pastry has risen and turned golden.
Inspired? For more delicious pie recipes visit Great British Chefs collection.