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Deer and Beer Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust is full of tender pieces of venison, sautéed mushrooms, and a silky-smooth beer gravy! It’s all topped off with a buttery, flaky puff pastry crust that’s baked to a perfect golden brown for a cozy, comforting venison recipe that’s downright delicious.
Slow cooking pieces of fresh venison meat in a luxurious sauce with vegetables and fresh herbs is the base of this delicious pot pie recipe. Store-bought puff pastry dough keeps this recipe simple as can be so you can enjoy it ay day of the week!
If you’re a fan of ridiculously tender, flavorful venison meat that’s been slow cooked to perfection I highly recommend checking out my red wine venison stew recipe, red wine venison roast, and classic venison stew recipe.
What goes in venison pot pie?
I cannot handle how yummy this recipe. It’s got everything a pot pie recipe should have!
- Tender, flavorful venison meat cooked to perfection.
- Veggies! Browned mushrooms, plus carrots, onion, and tender peas.
- A deeply rich gravy made from beef stock and beer (!!!)
- A flaky top crust made from store-bought puff pastry to cut down on prep.
The cooking technique for this pot pie recipe is so simple, with the filling being slow simmered on the stove before being topped with a crust and baked in the oven until golden. The ingredients aren’t anything fancy and are meant to highlight the delicious, fresh taste of venison meat.
How to make a Venison Pot Pie
- Season the meat. To get it ready for searing.
- Brown the mushrooms. And set aside.
- Sear the meat. Then sauté the vegetables.
- Make the sauce. It uses beer, beef stock, and fresh herbs.
- Simmer the filling. Until tender, it takes about 3 hours.
- Bake the pot pie. Either in one large pan or individual ramekins.
How to make deer less gamey
While I am a firm believer that the most important part of making sure your fresh venison doesn’t taste gamey starts during processing, there are some techniques that can be used during cooking to cut down on the gamey-ness of the meat.
Add acid – adding a splash of Worcestershire sauce to the gravy adds acid to the dish which can cut down on any gamey flavors. Balsamic vinegar would also be beautiful.
Dry the meat - This is imperative when cooking with venison! Patting the meat dry with a paper towel will get any “old blood” off of the surface, which can make the deer taste gamey.
- Puff Pastry - if you're out of puff pastry you can top the filling with buttery mashed potatoes. This way it's more like venison shepherd's pie!
- Worcestershire Sauce - if you're out of that hard-to-spell sauce, you can use balsamic vinegar or even a lovely red wine vinegar. Steer clear of white distilled vinegar, though!
- Brown Ale - I love using a roasty, toasty brown ale for the pot pie gravy. You can also use an amber or red ale, if you have those on hand. Even a porter, but make sure it's not too smoky and doesn't have any additional flavors like chocolate or coffee.
- Bacon Fat - Lard can be used in place of the bacon fat, if desired. Or even grapeseed or avocado oil.
- Mushrooms - I love the flavor and texture of baby portabellas, but white buttons would work in a pinch!
- Peas - canned peas can be subbed nearly seamlessly for the frozen, though they won't have as bright of a green hue!
Deer & Beer Pot Pie with Puff Pastry Crust
- 2 pounds venison roast, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 3 tablespoons bacon fat
- 8 oz. baby portabella mushrooms sliced
- ½ white onion diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 12 oz. brown ale
- 24 oz. beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- Fresh thyme
- 1 cup frozen English peas
- Frozen puff pastry thawed according to package directions
- Place six mini croquettes or ramekins on a baking tray and set aside.
- Cut roast into 1 ½ inch squares and pat dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle liberally with 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon smoke paprika and freshly crack black pepper, to taste. Dust with 2 tablespoon flour and set aside.
- In a large heavy-bottomed skillet with a lid (or a shallow Dutch oven), heat 1 tablespoon bacon fat over medium-high heat. Add 8 ounces sliced baby portabella mushrooms and stir to coat. Sprinkle with a pinch of kosher salt and cook until mushrooms release their juices and have browned. Remove from pan and add 2 tablespoon more bacon fat (or other cooking oil, if desired), working in batches, sear the venison on all sides before removing from pan.
- Lower heat to medium and add onion and carrot, stirring to coat. Season with more kosher salt. Cook until carrots begin to soften and onions become translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Deglaze pan with 12 ounces brown ale, scraping all those flavorful bits up from the bottom. Stir in 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce and 24 ounces beef stock.
- Return meat to pan and add 1 bay leaf and a few sprigs of fresh thyme. Cover and cook over low heat for 1 ½ - 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the lid and simmer for 30 minutes more or until liquid has reduced and meat is fork tender. Stir in frozen peas and cooked mushrooms. (At this point the filling can be cooled and refrigerated for a day, if desired.)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Divide filling among prepared ramekins. Cut the puff pastry into 6 equal squares (or using a large round cutter) to place over the top of the ramekins. Brush with eggwash and sprinkle with more fresh thyme.
- Bake in preheated oven for 10 – 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
- Alternatively, pot pie can be baked in a 9-inch cast iron pan at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.