A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Venyson Y-bake

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A venison pie, seasoned with pepper & ginger


.xix. Venyson Y-bake.---Take hoghes of Venyson, & parboyle hem in fayre Water an Salt; & whan þe Fleyssche is fayre y-boylid, make fayre past, & cast þin Venyson þer-on: & caste a-boue an be-neþe, pouder Pepir, Gyngere, & Salt, & þan sette it on þe ouyn, & lat bake, & serue forth.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.


Venison Pie. Take hocks of venison, and parboil in salted water; and when done, make pastry dough, and put the venison on: & cover above & beneath with pepper, ginger, & salt, & then set in the oven, & let bake, & serve.


  • 1 ½ lb. venison shanks, parboiled and in small pieces (reserve broth)
  • ½ tsp. salt (or season to taste)
  • ½ tsp. each pepper & ginger (or season to taste)
  • 1 nine-inch pie shell (no lid)
Combine venison & spices; thoroughly moisten with the reserved broth and place in pie shell. Bake at 375° F for 35-40 minutes, or until crust is lightly browned.

When making a venison pie, I often prefer to use a variation which I call Venyson Y-bake A-nother manere. It is less dry than this version, and contains honey and eggs.

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Venyson Y-bake © 2000 James L. Matterer

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