A New Twist on a Traditional Favorite
I love to experiment with combinations of flavors and cuisines. This dish is a new wild-game twist on traditional English shepherd’s pie: venison shepherd’s pie with sweet potatoes.
What Is Shepherd’s Pie?
Traditional shepherd’s pie includes a layer of minced meat and a layer of mashed potatoes. Those two ingredients are the basics; you’ll find many variations on this simple English pie.
Shepherd’s Pie Reimagined – with Venison
The meat layer also leaves lots of room for variation. Shepherd’s pie may include any ground red meat. Venison is the perfect wild game meat to boost the flavor of this dish.
Worried that venison will tasty gamey? Then you’re in for an unexpected taste treat! The trick to tender, delicious venison is the preparation. Click here for my Ten Tips to Know When Preparing Venison. If you’re already hooked on the taste of venison, you can find all my favorite venison recipes here.
Add a Burst of Color and Flavor
The other standard ingredient of a shepherd’s pie is its mashed potato topping. In my version, sweet potatoes add both extra flavor and extra nutrition. On top of that, the bright orange sweet potato topping is so much more inviting than plain old white mashed potatoes.
By the way, sweet potatoes are about the easiest vegetables in the world to grow if you can keep the deer away from them. During late summer, does with fawns find them irresistible. The good news is that a diet of sweet potatoes makes venison an even healthier meat!
Spice Things Up, Moroccan Style
Now for the spices. Typical shepherd’s pie is a great, solid comfort food, but it isn’t particularly exciting in its seasonings. Along with the sweet potatoes, Moroccan spices — cumin and turmeric — make this dish flavorful and exciting.
How to Make Shepherd’s Pie
Follow the simple recipe below for a hearty, tasty venison shepherd’s pie. Enjoy! Please let me know in the comments how you like this dish.
Moroccan Venison Shepherd’s Pie
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/2 pounds venison hindquarter cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1/2 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon divided
- 1 cup frozen green peas
- 4 cups sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 1 large egg lightly beaten
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle venison with cumin and salt. Add venison to the pan and brown for about 1 minute on each side. Remove venison from the pan. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic, sauté for about 30 seconds, and then add the tomato paste. Stir well.
- Add broth to the pan. Bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen the browned bits. Stir in olives, raisins, honey, ground red pepper, turmeric, and one half of the cinnamon. Add venison back to the pan. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the peas.
- Meanwhile, place sweet potatoes in a pot of boiling water until tender and drain. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and the rest of the cinnamon. Beat potatoes with a mixer and add egg. Continue mixing until well combined. Spoon venison mixture evenly into 4 ramekins. Spread potato mixture over the venison mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.