You may recognize this recipe as shepherd's pie, but we won't call it that. This dish is made with ground wild venison instead of the lamb or beef found in traditional English-Irish shepherd and cottage pie recipes. Hunter's pie is much more fitting.
This venison recipe includes all of the ingredients hunters love: lean wild game, lots of potatoes, gravy, cheese and a bit of vegetables, if we must.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour 20 minutes
- 3 large russet potatoes, peeled
- ½ cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 ounces shredded extra-sharp white cheddar, plus extra
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 ½ pounds ground venison
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh thyme
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
- 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups beef broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly-cracked pepper
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- Frozen peas and carrots, to taste
- Fresh parsley for garnish
- Cut peeled potatoes into large chunks and place into a pot. Cover with water, add a couple pinches of salt and cook until tender. Drain potatoes, return to the pot and mash with milk and butter. Shred/grate cheese and mix into the potatoes; depending on how sharp your cheddar is, add as little or as much cheese as you would like. Season to taste and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat oil in a wide bottom pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook until browned, but do not burn - lower heat if necessary. Add thyme, garlic and tomato paste. Stir for 1 minute.
- Turn heat up to medium-high and add ground venison. Brown meat and then add flour. Thoroughly combine the flour into the meat-onion mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add beef broth. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until liquid turns into a thick gravy, stirring occasionally. Add Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Take off heat and stir in frozen peas and carrots.
- Pour meat into an 8x8-inch baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with more shredded cheddar. Bake in a 425-degree oven for about 20 minutes or until bubbly and mashed potato topping becomes toasty. (Place a cookie sheet underneath the baking dish to catch any liquid that might bubble over.) Scoop out meat pie onto serving plates and garnish with fresh parsley.