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Venison Cottage Pie Recipe

An English/Irish favorite made with wild game.

Venison Cottage Pie
Here’s what it’ll look like when you’re finished!

Who doesn’t love a good meat pie?

This one is as easy as it gets. There’s no rolling out dough to speak of – no pastry to make. There’s meat, potatoes, and gravy, and it doesn’t have to look perfect. The more “rustic,” the better.

Servings: 4-6   

Prep Time: 10 minutes   

Cooking Time: 1 hour 20 minutes


  • 3 large russet potatoes, peeled
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces extra sharp white cheddar, plus more
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1½ pounds ground venison
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • ¾  teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • ½ teaspoon celery seed
  • Frozen peas and carrots, to taste
  • Fresh parsley for garnish


  1. Cut peeled potatoes into large chunks and place into a pot. Cover with water, add a couple pinches of salt and cook until tender. Drain potatoes, return to the pot and mash with milk and butter. Shred/grate cheese and mix into the potatoes. Season to taste and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a wide-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt and cook until browned, but do not burn – lower heat if necessary. Add thyme, garlic and tomato paste. Stir for 1 minute.
  3. Turn heat up to medium-high and add ground venison. Brown meat and then add flour. Thoroughly combine the flour into the meat-onion mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add wine and stir frequently until wine evaporates; lower heat if necessary.
  4. Add beef broth and bay leaf. Simmer for 20-30 minutes, or until liquid turns into a thick gravy, stirring occasionally. Add Worcestershire sauce, celery seed, salt and pepper. Take off heat and stir in frozen peas and carrots. Discard bay leaf.
  5. Pour meat into an 8×8-inch baking dish. Spread mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with more shredded cheddar. Place pie onto the top rack of your oven and broil until mashed potato topping becomes golden. (Place a cookie sheet underneath the baking dish to catch any liquid that might bubble over.) Scoop out meat pie onto serving plates and garnish with fresh parsley. ■

By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

This recipe and photograph originally appeared on Jenny’s Food for Hunters blog.

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About Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley

Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley is Nebraskaland Magazine's associate editor. She enjoys hiking, camping, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and wild game cooking.

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