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Venison Shepherd's Pie

Stacy Lyn Harris | gameandgarden.com

shepherd's pieThis recipe may sound like an old English recipe, but it's a Southern favorite in our house. We're not passing Yorkshire Pudding, but cathead biscuits across the table with this dish. Believe me, if you make this recipe you're going to need to make two; the first one will be gone before it hits the table.

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 spices and the sweet potatoes make this dish flavorful and exciting. 

If you like this recipe, I have many more like it in my book, Harvest, written especially for you harvesters! 

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds venison hindquarter, but into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/3 cup black olives 
  • 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

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. 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 saute for 3 minutes. Add garlic for about 30 seconds, and then add the tomato paste. Stir well.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Spoon venison mixture evenly into a pie dish, and then spread potato mixture over the venison mixture. If you want to make it extra special for company, cut the end off of a gallon zip top bag, place a cake frosting tip on the end, spoon the sweet potatoes into the bag and decorate the top of the venison mixtures completely with the sweet potatoes. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly.

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