Venison Pies Topped with Port Glazed Cranberries

With red cranberries and port these gorgeous pies make a great holiday party treat. The following recipe is for bite sized versions for holding with one hand at parties while you have something to drink with the other. I’ve also made meal sized pies which I’ve never had a problem with people finishing either.

1 lb puff pastry
butter for greasing
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
12 oz minced venison
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cornstarch
200 ml/ 6 oz oyster sauce
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ teaspoon five spice powder
salt and pepper
200 g cranberries
200g port
100g granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 190C/ 375F.

Grease a 12 cup muffin tin.

Working quickly so it stays cool, roll out pastry 3mm/ ⅛” thick. Cut out circles large enough to cover base and sides of muffin cups. Carefully line the muffin cups with the pastry circles. Press the pastry so it covers the bottoms and the sides. Put in fridge to chill while you make the filling.

To make the filling, heat the vegetable oil in a skillet. Saute onions for a couple of minutes, then add the carrot. Once the carrot is tender, add the venison, breaking up any lumps. Once the version is browned, stir in cornstarch, oyster sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and five spice powder. Salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool completely.

Add filling to muffin tins.

Bake until pastry is golden brown, approximately 30 minutes, on lowest oven rack. Check halfway. If mixture seems like it is getting dry, cover with foil.

Once baked cool on wire rack 20 minutes before removing from tin.

In the meantime, dissolve the sugar with the port over a low heat. Once dissolved, bring to the boil and add the cranberries. Cook for 1-2 mins, but remove from the heat before the cranberries burst. Leave to cool. Top the pies with the cranberries. Refrigerate 1 hr to set the topping.