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Easy Ground Venison Meat Pies

Close up of the ground venison filling inside a flaky homemade meat pie.
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This easy recipe uses puff pastry dough to make homemade meat pies you can eat with your hands. Buttery, flakey dough is filled with tender, lightly spiced ground venison.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Vidalia onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 pound ground venison or elk
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons currants (or small black raisins)
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
  • 4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (fresh, not dry)
  • 17 ounces puff pastry (2 sheets)
  • About 46 oz of good quality shredded mozzarella cheese (low moisture) or goat cheese (more if you want the pies to be cheesy)
  • 1 egg yolk + 1 teaspoon water

Instructions

Remove a puff pastry sheet from the freezer and set aside to thaw.

Make the filling.

Over medium heat fry the onion in the oil until soft and golden, about 15 minutes. Add the meat, butter, garlic, and spices except for the parsley. Cook for about 5 minutes until heated through. Cook until the meat is no longer pink and the juices have reduced. Add a generous pinch of kosher salt, and a few shakes of black pepper. Continue to cook for 2 to 3 more minutes then taste and adjust salt as needed.

Stir in the currants or raisins, pine nuts, and chopped parsley, then let the mixture cool.

Assemble the Meat Pies and Bake

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Cut each puff pastry sheet into 6 pieces of equal size. Roll each piece of dough out on a lightly floured counter, into a rectangle about 7 x 5 inches. (Be careful not to press down too hard, be gentle, otherwise, you’ll risk crushing the layers of pastry dough together.)

When you’ve rolled each piece of dough, place filling onto one half of each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch margin around the edges. Top with a sprinkle of cheese. I use about 2-3 tablespoons of filling and about 1 tablespoon of cheese but you can use more cheese if you like. Just make sure you can seal your pies.

Brush the edges of the dough with water to make them stick together better. Fold the pastry over to cover the filling and create a square. Gently press the tines of a fork along the edges to seal and create a pretty pattern, then trim any superfluous pastry around the pie with a knife.

In a small bowl, whisk together an egg yolk with 1 teaspoon of water. 

Place the pies on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with the egg mixture.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until puffed up and golden.

Notes

This recipe makes meat pies that are not super cheesy, with about only 1 tablespoon of cheese per pie. You can add up to 3 tablespoons if you’d like a cheesier hand pie.

Keywords: ground venison recipes, meat pies, hand pies, puff pastry recipes