Venison Shepherds Pie

Best Hunter’s Pie (Venison Shepherd’s Pie)

Are your dinner plans stuck in a rut? Try this Venison Shepherd’s Pie recipe (also known as Hunter’s Pie). The start of deer archery season coincides with the fall vegetable harvest, making this recipe great to utilize all harvest types. No luck this deer or elk season? Use ground beef instead of venison, and make what is known as Cottage Pie.

Venison Shepherd’s Pie Recipe Ingredients

  • Ground venison: Wild game has lower saturated fats (41%) than beef (46%), and also has higher iron content (0.135mg/oz) than beef (0.070mg/oz) and pork (0.035mg/oz). Wild venison also has a higher omega 3 to omega 6 ratio (more good omegas) than domesticated beef and pork.
  • Diced onion: Some health benefits of onions include anti-asthmatic properties, antibiotic effects, and anticancer properties.
  • Parsley: Studies have shown that parsley is effective in reducing stress-induced gastric injury (heartburn, ulcers, etc).
  • Rosemary: Rosemary has significant antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-tumor, blocking nerve pain stimulation, and neurologic protective properties. Furthermore, studies have shown rosemary supports mood, learning, memory, pain, anxiety, and sleep.
  • Thyme: Thyme is an excellent preservative, thyme is also used to treat sore throats and cough. It can also be applied topically for achy muscles and to improve circulation.
  • Salt & pepper: Studies have shown that black pepper can assist in cognitive brain functioning, boost nutrient absorption, and improve gastrointestinal functionality.
  • Worcestershire sauce: The powerful sauce contains a lot of iron, calcium, and potassium.
  • Garlic cloves: Health benefits of fresh garlic cloves include the prevention of chronic diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease, metabolic disorders, and diabetes.
  • Beef broth: Studies show that regular consumption of bone broth works well to prevent gastrointestinal disorders like ulcerative colitis.
  • Peas: Garden peas have been shown to possess antibacterial, antidiabetic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-hypercholesterolemia, antioxidant, and anticancer properties.
  • Diced carrots: are high in nutrients found to reduce cancer and cardiovascular disease
  • Corn: Roundup-tolerant sweet corn was released in 2011, however, there is a new variety of sweet corn seeds that can grow in containers! You can now grow your own sweet corn.
  • Tomato powder (or tomato paste): One study showed that the consumption of tomato powder with strenuous exercise reduced the amount of oxidative stress biomarkers more than a lycopene supplement.
  • Tomatoes: Studies have shown that tomato fruit consumption has been associated with a reduced risk of inflammatory processes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
  • Potatoes: Potatoes are particularly high in vitamin C and are a good source of several B vitamins and potassium, while the skins are high in dietary fiber. 
  • Milk: Studies have shown that consumption of dairy products was associated with a reduced risk of childhood obesity. In adults, intake of dairy products was shown to improve body composition and facilitate weight loss during energy restriction, and a reduction in risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Cheddar cheese (or your preferred cheese): Studies have shown that with dairy product consumption, there is a reduction in cancer risk including colorectal cancer, bladder cancer, gastric cancer, and breast cancer.
  • Flour: Flour is used to thicken the gravy, and can be substituted with gluten-free flour or cornstarch.

Hunter’s Pie Equipment

  • Dutch oven (Amazon Affiliate Link) You can learn more about the negative health effects of nonstick cookware in this article.
  • Instant Pot (Amazon Affiliate Link) (An Instant Pot is not needed, but will speed things up, and eliminate the need for dicing potatoes)

How to Make Shepherd’s Pie

  1. Put peeled (or half-peeled) potatoes in an instant pot on a rack with a cup of water. Pressure cook on high, 5 minutes for small potatoes and 10 minutes for large potatoes. (If you don’t have an instant pot, you can peel and dice potatoes, and boil them for 20-30 minutes instead.)
  2. While potatoes are pressure cooking, fry ground venison, onion, and garlic in a dutch oven.
  3. Preheat oven. Add parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce to cooked venison. Stir and simmer for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add flour and tomato powder, and coat the meat evenly.
  5. Once the venison meat is coated with flour, add beef stock, peas, carrots, and corn. Stir and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Drain potatoes in the instant pot, mash cooked potatoes, and stir adding milk, butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and cheese.
  7. After wild venison and vegetables have cooked, top with mashed potatoes topping. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, uncovered. Then enjoy your Shepherd’s Pie made with your hunted venison and garden harvest!
Venison Shepherds Pie

Hunter’s Pie (Venison Shepherd’s Pie)

The hunter’s version of Shepherd’s pie, using ground deer meat (or ground elk meat) instead of ground lamb or ground beef (also known as Cottage Pie).
4.41 from 5 votes (Your rating helps the site, and is greatly appreciated!)
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 People
Calories 608 kcal


Meat & Vegetable Mixture

  • 1 pound Ground venison
  • 1 cup Onion (diced)
  • 2 tsp Rosemary (dried) (or 2 Tbsp fresh rosemary)
  • 1 tsp Thyme (dried) (or 1 Tbsp fresh thyme)
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato powder (or 2 Tbsp tomato paste)
  • 1 cup Beef broth
  • ½ cup Peas
  • ½ cup Carrots (diced)
  • ½ cup Corn

Mashed Potato Topping

  • 2 large Potatoes
  • 8 Tbsp Butter
  • cup Half & half (or milk)
  • ½ tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ¼ tsp Pepper
  • ¼ cup Cheese


Meat & Vegetable Mixture

  • Cook ground venison in dutch oven with onion and garlic cloves.
    1 pound Ground venison, 1 cup Onion (diced), 2 cloves Garlic (minced)
  • While venison is cooking (or defrosting), place potatoes on a trivet in the Instant Pot. Add at least 1 cup of water for pressure cooker to properly cook. Pressure cook on high for 20 minutes for large potatoes, or for 12 minutes for small potatoes.
    2 large Potatoes
  • Add the seasoning and Worcesterhire sauce.
    2 tsp Rosemary (dried), 1 tsp Thyme (dried), ½ tsp Salt, ½ tsp Pepper, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Add flour and tomato powder (or paste). Stir well to coat the meat with flour.
    2 Tbsp Flour, 1 Tbsp Tomato powder
  • Add beef broth, and stir well.
    1 cup Beef broth
  • Add vegetables, bring broth to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.
    ½ cup Peas, ½ cup Carrots (diced), ½ cup Corn
  • While vegetables are cooking, preheat oven to 400°.

Mashed Potato Topping

  • Remove potatoes from the Instant Pot and place into a mixing bowl.
    2 large Potatoes
  • Add butter, half & half (or milk), garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
    8 Tbsp Butter, ⅓ cup Half & half (or milk), ½ tsp Garlic powder, ½ tsp Salt, ¼ tsp Pepper
  • Mash potatoes and mix the ingredients. Either top the potatoes with cheese, or mix into the potatoes.
    ¼ cup Cheese
  • Turn heat off of the meat and vegetable mixture, and spread the mixture evenly across the bottom. Top with meat and vegetable mixture with mashed potato mixture.
  • Bake at 400° uncovered for 25-30 minutes.
  • Enjoy!


Nutrition Facts
Hunter’s Pie (Venison Shepherd’s Pie)
Serving Size
2 cups
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Polyunsaturated Fat
Monounsaturated Fat
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Deer, Garden Vegetables, Ground Beef, Ground Venison, Instant Pot, Venison, Wild Game
Delicious recipe tweak?Please rate this recipe to let others know your delicious recipe alteration!
4.41 from 5 votes (Your rating helps the site, and is greatly appreciated!)

Our Other Venison Recipes:


2 thoughts on “Best Hunter’s Pie (Venison Shepherd’s Pie)”

  1. 5 stars
    Since cooking deer meat in cast iron on a regular basis, my iron levels have finally been normal (without taking iron supplements). I love this recipe! Keep the venison recipes coming!

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