This gluten-free venison shepherd's pie is the perfect comfort food for two. It's hearty, filling, and has all of the classic flavors you love. The best part is that it's easy to make and can be on the table in under an hour.
For many, the deer hunting season is a time to stock up on meat for the winter months. But what do you do with all that venison?
Want to use up your deer meat in a dish that is both gluten-free and delicious? Try this recipe for gluten-free venison shepherd's pie.
This dish is traditionally made with lamb or mutton, but ground venison makes a great substitute. Wild game meat is lean and has little fat or gristle which makes it a good choice for shepherd's pie.
There's no flour in the filling so this hunter's pie is also gluten-free! The creamy mashed potato topping makes it even more irresistible.
Best of all, it's easy to make this dish ahead of time and can be reheated without losing any of its flavor or texture. So go ahead and give it a try - your family will thank you for it!
So what exactly do you need to make this mouthwatering dish? The filling is a seasoned mix of ground meat and mixed vegetables. The topping is just a cheesy mashed potatoes mixture.
Here's what you'll need to make the recipe:
- Ground venison - we use deer meat finely ground with some beef fat.
- Butter - real salted butter is preferred.
- Onion - either dried or fresh.
- Garlic - fresh minced is best but you can use dried.
- Mixed vegetables - frozen is convenient for small batch recipes.
- Worcestershire sauce - adds flavor to the meat sauce.
- Herbs - we like to use dried thyme and sage.
- Potatoes - russet or Yukon gold are good choices.
- Cheese - a sharp cheddar is what we like to use.
- Beef broth - beef stock or broth makes the taste less gamey.
- Milk - whole milk or half and half is best for mashed potatoes.
Scroll down to the recipe card for the quantities of each ingredient.
The process for making a venison shepherd's pie is the same as a traditional one. You simply cook the venison and vegetables in a seasoned sauce, then top with mashed potatoes and bake.
Add potatoes to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil then simmer until fork tender.
Drain potatoes then add butter and milk. Mash together with a potato masher, blender, food processor, or fork.
Add the shredded cheddar cheese.
Continue mashing until cheese is blended in.
Cook onion in melted butter
Add ground meat and brown. Then add seasonings.
Pour in broth.
Stir in vegetables. Cook over medium heat until broth is reduced and vegetables are tender.
Divide the venison filling between two 10 ounce baking dishes.
Sprinkle shredded cheese over the meat.
Spread potatoes to cover the venison mixture. Then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Bake until the tops are lightly browned to your liking.
Mix up the veggies. Shepherd's pie is traditionally made with peas and carrots, but you can use any combination of vegetables that you like.
Add a thick gravy. You can still keep this recipe gluten-free by using arrowroot or a gluten-free flour blend to thicken up a beef broth based gravy.
If you're looking for something a little different, try topping your shepherd's pie with sweet potato mash and chopped bacon. The sweetness of the sweet potatoes pairs perfectly with the savory flavors of the venison and bacon.
- Season the meat with salt and pepper before browning.
- Keep it gluten-free. When cooking the filling, use a gluten-free flour to thicken if needed.
- Use an oven-safe dish for baking and serving. This will make it easier to transfer the pie from the oven to the table.
- Let the pie cool slightly before serving so that the venison filling sets.
There are many different ways to enjoy shepherd's pie. Some popular pairings include roasted vegetables, a green salad, and crusty bread.
You can store leftover shepherd's pie in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, cover and bake at 350°F or microwave until heated through.
There are many vegetables that work well in shepherd's pie. Potatoes, carrots, peas, and corn are all common ingredients. You can also add other vegetables like green beans or mushrooms.
You can buy it at some butcher shops, and you may be able to find it at some specialty meat markets. You might also be able to purchase it at some grocery stores, but it might be more expensive there.
No, you don't need to use cheese in a venison shepherd pie. It just gives the mashed potatoes a more complex flavor.
Want to try some of our other easy meals for one? Here's some of our favorites.
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Venison Shepherd’s Pie
- ½ pound russet potatoes peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup onion chopped (or 1 T dried)
- ½ pound ground venison or other meat
- 1 clove garlic
- ¾ cup mixed vegetables frozen or fresh
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- 3 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- ¼ cup beef broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place potatoes in a saucepan and cover over an inch with water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 10 minute or until fork tender.
- Drain water from potatoes. Then add milk and butter. Mash together.
- Mash in the cheese.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- In small skillet, melt butter. Add onion and cook for a minute or two. Add ground meat. Stir and cook until browned, about five minutes.
- Add garlic, thyme, sage, and Worcestershire sauce. Sauté until meat is well browned and not longer pink.
- Add beef broth and vegetables. Cook until broth is reduced and vegetables are tender.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide meat mixture between two 10 ounce baking dishes.
- Top each with half the cheese, reserving about a tablespoon.
- Spread or pipe mashed potatoes over the cheese then top the potatoes with the remaining shredded cheese.
- Bake until top is browned, about 20-25 minutes.
Absolutely delish! Perfect way to use a batch of gifted venison. Thank you for sharing!
Oh yum! I loved this and so did hubby! We had some ground venison to use up and this hit the spot!
We eat venison on a regular basis in our house but I never thought about making a shepherds pie with it. Thank you for a great venison recipe. I was delicious!!
this looks great. you are a lifesaver my husband won't eat leftovers. he will love these recipes. will look for your cookbook. thank you 😊