Game meats are important part of New Zealand culture and cuisine, and a number of different meats are combined together here in a delicious hearty pie. Hare, wild pig and venison share a gaminess that is brought together with a minerally pinot noir. If using meat from farmed animals perhaps limit the dish to farmed venison only, as rabbit and pork will not have the same depth of flavour as their wilder cousins.






Skill level

Average: 4.7 (3 votes)


  • 500 g wild venison leg meat, cut into 5 cm cubes
  • 1 wild venison shank
  • 1 wild hare, skinned, jointed
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 apple
  • 1 small bunch thyme
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, bruised
  • 2 tsp quatre épices (1 tsp ground white pepper, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp each ground cloves and ground ginger)
  • 750 ml (1 bottle) pinot noir
  • 1 wild pork hock
  • 50 g butter, diced
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 1 pig’s trotter
  • 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 litres reserved pork hock stock
  • 2 cups pearl onions
  • kumara mash, potato champ, brown butter, shredded parsley, steamed peas and carrots, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 4 hours

Place the venison and hare in a deep dish or bowl and grate over the onion, carrot, celery and apple. Make a bouquet garni with the thyme, rosemary, parsley and bay leaves, and add to the dish along with the garlic, quatre épices and wine. Mix to combine. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.

Place the pork hock in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 2 hours. Remove the pork from the stock and set aside to cool, reserving the stock.

Working in batches, heat the butter and oil in a large heavy-based pan over medium-high heat. Place the flour into a shallow tray. Drain the marinade from the meat and dust the meat lightly in the flour, shaking off any excess. Cook the meat for 5 minutes, turning, until browned. Remove and set aside.

Pour the marinade into the pan set over medium-high heat, and bring to the boil. Using a large spoon, skim any impurities that rise to the surface. Add the venison, hare, pork hock, trotter, tomatoes and pork stock, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 2-3 hours until the meats are tender. Remove the meat from the stock and shred, discarding the bones.

Place the pan over medium heat. Add the pearl onions and bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes until the sauce is reduced and glossy, and the onions are tender. Return the shredded meat to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for 10 minutes until heated through. Season with salt and pepper.

Top the stew with kumara mash and champ. Drizzle with brown butter and grill the top of the dish under a very hot overhead grill until lightly browned. Scatter with parsley and serve the hunter’s pie with peas and carrots.