Thinking about introducing some new proteins to your diet, but unsure where to start? This recipe for shepherd’s pie does an excellent job incorporating not-as-common elk meat into an established dish that’s full of other flavors. This is a great way of trying a new type of meat while still having some familiar tastes around it. Although the ingredients list and prep time may seem like a lot, keep in mind that this is a true one-dish meal – no need to spend a lot of time or energy on extra sides.
Traditional shepherd’s pie dishes are usually cooked with lamb or beef, so keep in mind that this dish will have a distinctive, “elkier” flavor than what you might be used to. It’s also important to note that finding elk, or any kind of game meat, in your local supermarket may be a bit of a challenge. If you’re located in the Northern United States, purchasing elk meat (or getting it yourself) can be fairly easy if you connect with a hunter’s group. In other parts of the country, check out specialty grocery stores, butcher counters, or online ordering. If you’re unable to source elk, bison or even beef would taste just as well.
If you do want to round out this meal a bit, we think adding a simple dish like this fresh vegetable salad is a perfect idea to save time while still filling up your plate.
Elk Shepherd’s Pie Recipe
Protein: 58g / %
Carbs: 47g / %
Fat: 16g / %
Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.
- 2 lbs elk meat or bison, cut into cubes
- 3 to 4 russet or sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
- 2 to 3 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1/4 cup dry red wine or beef stock
- 2 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 tsp. paprika
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. allspice
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tbsp. cooking fat
- Green onions, sliced
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 350 F.
- Melt cooking fat in an oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat.
- Season the meat to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Brown the meat on all sides for 1 to 2 minutes and remove from skillet.
- Reduce heat to medium and add the garlic, onion, tomato paste and spices; stir everything and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
- Add the carrots and cook 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour in the red wine or beef stock and bay leaves and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until liquid is dissolved.
- Add the elk back to the skillet and add in the tomato sauce and crushed tomatoes; mix everything and simmer 2 to 3 minutes.
- Remove the bay leaves and top skillet with sliced potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste, and place in the oven.
- Alternatively, you can leave the bay leaves in the skillet, just make sure you know where to find them and remove them before serving.
- Bake in the oven until potatoes are tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
- Serve topped with fresh sliced green onions.