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Venison Shepherd’s Pie

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This Venison Shepherd’s Pie is the perfect comfort food to make to celebrate St. Patrick’s day or any cold winter day!

Three mini cast iron ramekins with shepherd's pies.Pin

Shepherd’s pie, otherwise known a shepard’s pie and originally known as cottage pie is a traditional dish that is found in both England and France by the late 1800’s.

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Today Shepherd’s pie generally refers to the use of mutton or lamb, while cottage pie refers to beef. The dish was traditionally made with leftover meat.

This Venison Shepherd’s Pie recipe is a fun twist on this traditional favorite.

Ingredients you need

  • venison roast – cut into 1 inch chunks (or you can use ground venison)
  • red wine – use a decent wine like cabernet, merlot, pinot noir or burgundy.
  • venison stock – substitute vegetable stock or chicken stock. We don’t recommend beef stock as it overpowers the flavor of the delicate deer meat.
  • rosemary – dried or fresh will work. If using fresh, double the amount you add.
  • thyme – dried or fresh will work. If using fresh, double the amount you add.
  • salt – we use coarse kosher salt or sea salt
  • black pepper
Ingredients for venison stew.Pin

For the vegetables

  • carrot
  • celery – be sure to add the leafy tops too. They add lots of flavor.
  • onion – yellow onion or white onion are best
  • garlic clove
  • peas – fresh or frozen peas are best.
Vegetables for shepherd's pie. See recipe for details below.Pin

Optional veggies

  • parsnips
  • lima beans
  • mushrooms

For the mashed potatoes

  • potatoes – use a thin skinned potato like red potatoes or Yukon gold potatoes.
  • milk or cream
  • butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cheddar cheese – optional but tasty.
Ingredients for mashed potato topping.Pin

How to make it

  1. Cut vegetables.
  2. Cut roast into one-inch cubes or use ground venison.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add a splash of olive oil to skillet, Dutch oven or cast iron pan.
  5. First brown the deer meat in a large skillet or Dutch oven in batches over medium high heat.
  6. Once all of the meat is browned, reduce heat, add vegetables to the same pan.
  7. Sauté vegetables a few minutes.
  8. Deglaze pan with red wine. Stir the contents to remove any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add the rest of the liquid, spices, salt and pepper.
  9. Add meat back to the pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the meat is tender and veggies are soft.

Thicken with slurry made from flour or cornstarch mixed with an equal amount of water.

How to make venison shepherd's pie step by step. For details see recipe below.Pin

For the mashed potatoes

Cut potatoes into small pieces. Add to a large saucepan. Barely cover the potatoes with water.

Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low boil. Cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes are soft. Drain well.

Add potatoes back to the pan. Place butter, milk or cream and salt and pepper in the pot with the potatoes. Using a potato masher or hand mixer, mash the potatoes until they achieve a smooth consistency.

Add cheese and mix.

Once the venison filling is done, pour it into a casserole dish, or use individual ramekins for a fun presentation.

Spread potatoes over the meat mixture. Purposely add high spots on the surface of the potatoes so that they brown nicely.

Place the casserole on a rimmed baking sheet. Place it under the broiler and broiler until the potatoes are a nice golden brown. Carefully watch the pie so that the potatoes don’t burn.

Side view of glass casserole with stew and potatoes.Pin

Pro tips for your success

  • If you are using the cheese for the mashed potatoes, do not make them too early. If they cool, the cheese will solidify making the potatoes hard to spread.
  • Make a double batch and freeze the pies covered well for future ready-to-go dinners.

How to store leftovers

Leftovers will last 3-4 days, covered, in the fridge. For longer storage leftovers can be frozen in the freezer in air tight freezer containers.

Close up of Shepherd's pie.Pin

More delicious comfort foods

Helpful tools

Browned potatoes on top of pie.Pin

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I hope you enjoyed the recipe today.

Enjoy. And have fun cooking!

Binky's signature
3 individual shepherd's pie on wood slab.Pin

Venison Shepherd’s Pie

This Venison Shepherd's Pie is the perfect comfort food to make to celebrate St. Patrick's day or any cold winter day!
See Step by Step Photos Above!Most of our recipes have step by step photos and videos! Also helpful tips so that you can make it perfectly the first time and every time! Scroll up to see them!
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: entree, Main Course
Cuisine: European
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 543kcal
Author: Beth Neels
Cost: $5

Ingredients

  • 2 pound venison roast see notes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat pan.
  • 4 large carrot
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 3 cups venison stock or sub vegetable or beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • ¼ cup cornstarch for thickening
  • warm water to mix with cornstarch to thicken gravy

for mashed potatoes

  • 6 large Potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup Milk see notes
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar

Instructions

For filling

  • Cut roast into one-inch cubes or use ground venison.
    2 pound venison roast
  • Add a splash of olive oil to skillet, Dutch oven or cast iron pan. First brown the deer meat in a large skillet or Dutch oven in batches over medium high heat.
    1 tablespoon olive oil to coat pan.
  • Once all of the meat is browned, reduce heat, add vegetables to the same pan.
  • Sauté vegetables a few minutes. Deglaze pan with red wine. Stir the contents to remove any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Then add the rest of the liquid, spices, salt and pepper.
    4 large carrot, 4 stalks celery, 1 onion, diced, 1 clove garlic, minced, ½ cup red wine, 3 cups venison stock, 2 tablespoons minced fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced, 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Add meat back to the pan. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the meat is tender and veggies are soft. Add peas the last couple of minutes.
    1 cup frozen peas
  • Thicken with slurry made from flour or cornstarch mixed with an equal amount of water. Let it cook on low for 3-4 minutes to thicken.
    ¼ cup cornstarch, warm water

for mashed potato topping

  • Cut potatoes into small pieces. Add to a large saucepan. Barely cover the potatoes with water.
    6 large Potatoes, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • Bring to boil. Reduce heat to a low boil. Cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes are soft. Drain well.
  • Add potatoes back to the pan. Place butter, milk or cream and salt and pepper in the pot with the potatoes. Using a potato masher or hand mixer, mash the potatoes until they achieve a smooth consistency.
    3 tablespoons unsalted butter, ¼ cup Milk
  • Add cheese and mix.
    1 cup sharp cheddar

To assemble

  • Once the venison filling is done, pour it into a casserole dish, or use individual ramekins for a fun presentation.
  • Spread potatoes over the meat mixture. Purposely add high spots on the surface of the potatoes so that they brown nicely.
  • Place the casserole on a rimmed baking sheet to avoid spills. Place it under the broiler and broil until the potatoes are a nice golden brown. Carefully watch the pie so that the potatoes don't burn.
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Video

Notes

  • If you are using the cheese for the mashed potatoes, do not make them too early. If they cool, the cheese will solidify making the potatoes hard to spread.
  • Make a double batch and freeze the pies covered well for future ready-to-go dinners.
Leftovers will last 3-4 days, covered, in the fridge. For longer storage leftovers can be frozen in the freezer in air tight freezer containers.

Nutrition

Calories: 543kcal | Carbohydrates: 62g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 123mg | Sodium: 970mg | Potassium: 1964mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 5673IU | Vitamin C: 67mg | Calcium: 191mg | Iron: 7mg
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14 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I have venison in the freezer just for this recipe. The amounts of broth, thyme, and rosemary are not listed on the recipe card or in the instructions. Do you just eyeball the amounts? Thank you.

  2. 5 stars
    I want to make this soon and can’t seem to find how much red wine, chicken broth and spices are used for the filling. Really looks delicious. Please direct me where this is in the post, I probably just overlooked it. Thank you.

    1. It is in the recipe card. At the top of the post you will see a button that says Jump to recipe. You will find quantities there.

  3. 5 stars
    Shepherd’s Pie has always been my go-to comfort meal, and made with venison?? That sounds even better than how I typically make it! Making this tomorrow, thanks so much for the recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    Omg, this recipe for Shepard’s pie was spot on! I am not always able to find venison (this time I did), but I am sure I could swap for ground beef! LOVE the red wine addition!

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