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Venison pie is a savory pie made from the meat of a deer. This kind of pie is often served as a main course. Venison pie incorporates deer meat into a "gamey" recipe that is not entirely unlike beef or chicken pies.
In general, the word venison applies to deer meat whether it is hunted or farmed. Many in North America and other regions of the world will be familiar with venison as a wild meat. This meat tends to be leaner than beef, and can be more difficult to cook.
Chefs who incorporate venison into a pie often combine it with various vegetables such as mushrooms or onions. Some will also include elements like salt pork to give the pie more flavor. A gravy made from the essence of the venison can add to the texture and overall presentation of the pie.
A variety of spices go into many venison pie recipes. Spices like sage, cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves add distinctly colorful flavors to a pie made with venison. Some cooks maintain that venison pie needs these kinds of additions to help mask the strong taste that this meat can have.
In various regions where venison pie is enjoyed, some flavors tend to dominate. Cooks in the North American region tend to include light tastes like sage or thyme with black pepper and salt. In some European areas where pie made from venison is a common dish, this may include a red wine reduction sauce or red currant jelly.
Some specialized venison pie recipes incorporate different familiar designs that cooks may use with other commonly available meats. For example, some venison pies are made to resemble a regional dish, where, instead of a conventional pie crust, the crust may consist of noodles blended into the mix. Other venison pie recipes may also present the meat differently, without a regular top and bottom crust.
Much of the availability of dishes like venison pie depends greatly on the available of the meat in a given region or country. Where many still hunt deer in the wild, this dish can be a popular way to use the acquired meat. In some areas, deer are now being farmed, which may increase the popularity of venison dishes in those places.