A cobbler, with its golden scone-dough topping, makes a handsome centrepiece for a casual supper for friends and family. Here I add pumpkin to the topping, and suggest this as an alternative to turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner, a holiday we usually celebrate, even though
Toss the venison, a few pieces at a time, in a bag with the flour and seasoning. Brown the meat in the olive oil, flame with the brandy, then add the port, vinegar and red wine. Bring to the boil, tuck in the sprig of rosemary, cover, and cook it at 150°C/300°F/gas mark 2 for about three hours.
Rub the flour and fat together in a bowl, and then stir in the cheese, the pumpkin and seasoning. Stir in enough liquid to make a soft, pliable dough. Transfer to a floured board, and knead it lightly.
Roll out to fit the top of whatever ovenproof dish you are serving the stew from, cut into wedges and lay them on top of the stew, or cut into rounds and arrange on top. Sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Bake at 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 in a preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes.
© 2000 Frances Bissell. All rights reserved.