The origins of the Shepherd’s Pie date back to the 1700s and are often synonymous with Irish heritage. The traditional Irish recipe uses lamb or mutton, but when made with other various ground red meats, most often beef, it is referred to as Cottage Pie.
Though there are many variations of this comfort food, the core ingredients remain: ground red meat, onion, and a crust of mashed potatoes on top. Vegetables like carrot, celery, and peas are regularly added to the mixture. This recipe replaces the peas with the sweet and nutty-flavored parsnips and uses ground venison as the red meat, making it a perfect, hearty fall favorite.
Venison Cottage PieRecipe by Kelliann Frank
- 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 2 lbs. potatoes peeled and quartered
- 6 Tbsp. milk
- 5 Tbsp. butter cubed and divided
- ½ tsp. lard
- 1 cup onion chopped
- 1 cup carrot finely diced
- 1 cup celery finely diced
- 1 cup parsnip finely diced
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 cups ground venison
- 1 cup beef stock
- ¾ cups red wine good quality
- 1 cup white mushrooms chopped
- 2 Tbsp. flat leaf parsley finely chopped
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Gather all the ingredients. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, mash the flour with 1 Tbsp. of butter and place in freezer.
- Add potatoes to a large pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft but not breaking up, approximately 15-30 minutes. Once soft, drain through a colander.
- In a bowl, mash the potatoes with a potato masher, ricer, or fork. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Place the milk and remaining butter in the pan used for the potatoes. Return to the heat and gently warm, until the butter has melted.
- Add the potatoes to the milk and mix until the consistency of creamy mash. Set aside.
- In a large frying pan, melt the lard. Add the onions, carrots, parsnips, and celery and sauté the mixture for five to six minutes.
- Add the chopped garlic and cook for an additional minute. Raise the heat, add the red wine, and let the mixture bubble for five minutes, or until the wine has reduced.
- Add the ground venison to the vegetables and 1/3 cup beef stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until all the meat is browned. Add the remaining stock, parsley, and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium heat.
- Take the flour and butter paste from the freezer and add it in tiny pieces to the meat pan. Stir constantly until all the flour has dissolved and the sauce has thickened slightly, about five minutes.
- Place the venison mixture into an 8x8x3-inch deep, oven-proof dish and cover it with the mashed potatoes. Fluff up the surface of the potatoes with a fork and season again with salt and pepper.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes until the surface is crisp and browned. Serve immediately.