Venison and juniper suet pudding with girolle mushrooms and ‘clapshot’

  • medium
  • 4
  • 2 hours 30 minutes
Not yet rated

Give James Mackenzie's venison suet pudding recipe a go over a wintry weekend and you will be rewarded with an adorably hearty dish. It takes time to slowly braise the meat and steam the puddings, but good things come to those who wait.

First published in 2015




Venison filling

Suet pastry



  • Steam oven
  • 4 large dariole moulds


To prepare the filling, add some rapeseed oil to a large saucepan over a medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, sear the meat in batches until evenly browned
Once seared, remove the venison and add the vegetables to the pan. Once they begin to colour, return the venison to the pan with the juniper berries, thyme and red wine
Bring to the boil, pour in the stock and return to the boil. Place a lid on the pan and gently simmer and braise for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until the meat is tender
Once the venison is cooked, strain off the liquid into a clean pan and bring to the boil. Combine the butter and flour to form a paste, or 'beurre manie'. Add the beurre manie in knobs to the sauce, whisking constantly to achieve a gravy consistency. Simmer for a further 10 minutes, then remove from the heat
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 50g of butter
You will need to prepare the suet pastry in advance so that it has plenty of time to rest. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl with the suet, a generous pinch of salt and some chopped sage leaves. Mix together, then add enough water to form a dough. Wrap in cling film and allow to rest for 1 hour
Butter the dariole moulds. Roll out the pastry to approximately 5mm thick, then cut out rounds of pastry using small plates (or the size suitable for your moulds) and cut a small V shape into the circles - this will enable the pastry to fit into the moulds snugly
Press the pastry into the moulds - there should be enough overhang to cover the puddings once filled
Add the venison filling to the moulds - the mix needs to be cool when you fill the moulds or the pastry will melt. Gather up the pastry overhang and press the edges together to seal
Preheat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3, or preheat a steam oven to 100% steam

If not using a steam oven, place the puddings in a deep ovenproof dish and pour in some hot water to come halfway up the sides of the moulds. Cover the dish and puddings with tin foil and seal tightly. Place in the regular oven for 2 hours. If using a steam oven, prepare the puddings in the same way and cook for 1 hour 20 minutes

To prepare the garnish, place the bacon onto a greased tray and bake in the oven until crispy. Cut the celery into 10cm long pieces and add to a large saucepan with the carrots, butter, thyme and enough stock to cover
Place a cartouche over the vegetables and cook until tender - the liquid should have evaporated and the vegetables nicely glazed
Just before serving, place a pan over a medium heat and add a knob of butter. Once the butter is foaming, sauté the mushrooms and finish with some chopped parsley and chives
Turn the puddings out of the moulds into the middle of serving bowls and arrange the vegetables around them. Serve with some hot gravy and some crispy bacon

Behind every strong man there’s a strong woman and never has that maxim rung truer than at the Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass, where talented chef-proprietor James Mackenzie resides with his equally capable front-of-house wife, Kate.

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