Comfort food at its best – this triple layer pie can be prepared ahead with the meat filling best kept for a day or so for the venison to marinate in the flavoured red wine.

Serves 4


1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion
500g minced venison
300ml red wine
2 sprigs thyme – leaves only
2 bay leaves, torn
2 tablespoons tomato purée
500g potatoes
2 leeks, washed and sliced
200ml crème fraîche
50g butter, melted


Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onion for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the venison and cook for a further 10 minutes until evenly browned. Pour in the wine and add the herbs. Season with salt and pepper and stir in the tomato purée. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer gently for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid has evaporated.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 190º/gas 5. Place the potatoes, whole and unpeeled in a pan of cold water. Bring to the boil and cook for 4-5 minutes. Drain and plunge into cold water.

Simmer the sliced leek in a pan with enough boiling water to cover, until just tender. Drain and spoon into the base of 4 individual dishes or one large ovenproof dish. Top the leeks with the crème fraîche.

Using a sharp knife, peel the cooled potatoes then grate coarsely into a large bowl. Pour over the melted butter and toss to coat. Discard the bay leaves and spoon the venison over the leeks. Top each dish with grated potato.

Bake for 35 minutes until crisp and golden.