I was fortunate to be given some wild venison recently and had it stowed away in the freezer while I ruminated about how to cook it. My room for rumination was abruptly cut short when my freezer defrosted!!!! Fortunately I caught everything in time to be able to cook it all up, but it was a real pain to have to suddenly kick into a couple of days of cooking when it wasn't planned for! I happened to have some puff pastry that had also thawed so decided to make a venison pie. The meat was cut into schniztel, which made it very easy to deal with. I know that venison is usually best not mucked around with, certainly it is supposed to be cooked reasonably quickly as it is so very lean. This was no exception, it was very lean. However, I decided to be reckless and make a ragu with it - I fried some onions, and then cut the meat up into strips and quickly flash fried them. I popped the onion and venison in a large oven tray, then deglazed the pan with some red wine, tinned chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. I poured this over the venison and onion, then added in a couple of chopped carrots and parsnips, then about a cupful of quartered mushrooms. Some thyme scattered over and about a cup of beef stock finished it all off, then I covered it with foil and cooked it at 160C for about 2 hours.
It reduced down to a lovely rich sauce, the meat just melted into it and there certainly wasn't any kind of overwhelming game taste- it was just a lovely rich and meaty ragu.
I rolled out the pastry and lined a pie dish with the pastry top and bottom, ragu in the middle (and also sneaked in a couple of thick slices of cheese). I brushed it with eggwash and baked it at 200c for 25 mins (or until puffed up and deep golden brown).
This was basic and delicious comfort food at its best.