Monday meals: hunter’s pie

My husband shot a deer behind our house last fall. I did not grow up in a hunting culture, so this whole experience was new to me. I watched him hang the buck in our garage, picked up the meat after it was sorted and packaged, and thought, now what? I had never cooked venison before. 

So I went looking for some recipes … and honestly, didn’t find much. I just substituted the meat stocked in our freezer for beef most of the time, and I guess this recipe – a spinoff of shepherd’s pie – is another one of those. But it worked, and I figured it was worth sharing.

What you’ll need for the topping:

  • one and a half pounds of potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • three garlic gloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • a tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mashed potatoes. You know the drill. Boil the potatoes until tender, add the milk, butter and seasonings and then set aside until you’re ready for it.

What you’ll need for the filling:

  • two cups cooked venison, cubed
  • one and a half cups beef broth
  • about two and a half cups of the vegetables of your choice. Mushrooms, peppers, carrots, onions are suggested; I think I used corn and peas in there somewhere too.
  • three tablespoons each of flour and cold water
  • 1/3 cup shredded cheese
  • dried thyme, nutmeg and parsley to taste

Saute the vegetables in butter until tender. Add the venison, broth, thyme and nutmeg and bring it all to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for up to half an hour until everything is good to go. Combine the flour and water and stir into the mix, letting it boil for a couple minutes until the sauce has thickened up.

Transfer it all to a baking dish and spread the mashed potatoes on top. Bake at 350 for about half an hour, or until you see it bubbling. Sprinkle with cheese and let it melt, then add the parsley as a garnish.

Cheryl Hazelton
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