Moroccan Venison Shepherd’s Pie

Venison Pie: 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: a hunter’s pie with venison meat and sweet potatoes. It’s the perfect comfort food.

Deer meat shepherd's pie with sweet potatoes over the top in a silver serving dish. A piece of venison shepherd's pie Is in the foreground on a white dish.
Venison / Deer Meat Shepherd’s Pie: a Wild Game, Moroccan-Style Twist on an English Tradition

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 of these meat pies; you’ll find many variations. For example, some recipes include mushrooms and mashed carrots, and some add bacon or red wine for flavor. You can even make a shepherd’s pie that is a variation of chicken pot pie. Some pour the filling into a pie crust or puff pastry. This venison shepherd’s pie recipe, however, omits the dough. The lack of flour makes this recipe suitable for a gluten-free diet. Since it omits the cheese, too, it’s also dairy free. This pie gets its incredible flavor from venison, sweet potatoes, and spices.

Shepherd’s Pie Reimagined – with Venison

The meat layer also leaves lots of room for variation. You could use ground venison, lamb, or really any ground red meat. Venison is the perfect wild game meat to boost the flavor of this dish. Instead of the beef stock, you could use chicken stock in this recipe.

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.

Instead of a pie dish, I use individual ramekins. You could also use a casserole dish.

Add a Burst of Color and Flavor

The other standard ingredient of a shepherd’s pie is its golden brown mashed potato topping, typically made with yukon golds. In my version, sweet potatoes add both extra flavor and extra nutrition. In my opinion, the bright orange sweet potato topping is so much more inviting than plain old white mashed potatoes on top of the pie.

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. The most adventurous things usually get is a little black pepper and maybe some rosemary or thyme. This version, however, spices things up considerably. Along with the sweet potatoes, Moroccan spices — cumin and turmeric — make this dish flavorful and exciting.

Can you freeze venison pie?

A cooked venison pie will keep 3-5 days in the refrigerator. You can freeze these meat pies in their individual ramekins as long as you wrap them tightly with foil or plastic freezer wrap.

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

The Moroccan spices and the sweet potatoes make this shepherd's pie flavorful and exciting.  Enjoy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine English, Moroccan, Wild Game


  • 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 cast-iron skillet or Dutch oven 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. Moved potatoes to a mixing bowl, beat with a mixer (or mash with a potato masher), and add egg. Continue mixing until well combined. Spoon venison mixture evenly into 4 ramekins.  Spread potato mixture over the meat mixture. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
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