Chilly January evenings call for comfort food suppers. Philippa Davis' venison bourguignon pie is deliciously rich and the slow cooking leaves the meat meltingly tender

January is the time for slow cooking. Ideal for warming the house on chilly evenings and reviving tough meat that has lasted this far into the season. Philippa Davis’ venison bourguignon pie needs a little longer in the oven, but it makes for the ultimate comfort food supper.

For more on slow cooking, try Philippa Davis’ hare, rabbit and cognac rillettes.


It is hard to find a more comforting food than pie and this delicious, rich, venison bourguignon version is perfect for beating off the January blues.

Serves 8

  • 1.6kg braising venison (shoulder or leg) cut into 2cm cubes
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500ml red Burgundy wine
  • 8 shallots, peeled and cut into 2cm dice
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped thyme
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and cut into
  • 2cm cubes
  • 8 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, cut into
  • 1cm pieces.
  • 6 large flat field mushrooms, roughly chopped into 3cm cubes.
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 400ml game or beef stock

To assemble the pie

  • 400g short-crust pastry
  • 500g ready-rolled, all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbsp milk


Venison bourguignon pie

This deliciously rich venison bourguignon pie is perfect for beating the January blues.

Grease a 20cm x 30cm deep pie dish.

Pre-heat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.

Toss the meat in the flour and season well with salt and pepper.

In a large frying pan, heat three tablespoons of the oil and brown the venison in batches Transfer to a large casserole dish. Deglaze the pan with 100ml of the wine and pour over the meat. Heat the remaining oil in the pan and sauté the shallots, garlic, thyme, carrots and bacon until lightly caramelised. Add to the meat.

Stir in the mushrooms, tomato purée and the rest of the wine and stock, then cover with parchment and foil. Cook for two to three hours or until the meat is tender. Remove, check for seasoning then cool.

To assemble the pie, pre-heat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

Roll out and line your pie dish with the short-crust pastry. Spoon in the pie filling then top and decorate, in a style of your choosing, with the puff pastry. Brush with the egg-yolk mix and make three incisions in the top so the steam can escape.

Bake on the middle shelf for 40 minutes to one hour; the puff pastry should be golden and the inside of the pie piping hot.