Shepherd’s’ Pie

Shepherd’s Pie has to be one of the ultimate comfort foods. Sautéed beef and vegetables cooked in fresh herbs and topped with mashed potatoes- what could be more comforting that that? Traditionally shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb, but here I’ve made it with Durham Ranch ground elk. Super tasty! You can easily substitute the elk for ground beef, turkey or lamb. Make sure to use chicken broth if using lamb or turkey.

Ground Elk Shepherd’s Pie
Makes 4-6 servings.Shepherd's’ Pie

3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and halved
2 tsp salt
1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
½ cup unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
2 Tbs olive oil, separated
1 lb ground elk
1 tsp salt
2 Tbs chopped rosemary
1 Tbs chopped sage
2 Tbs thyme
1 tsp ground pepper
½ cup white onion, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped
3 Tbs tomato paste
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups beef broth
½ cup frozen peas
Chopped parsley & chives, for garnish

Peel and cut potatoes; cook until tender, about 20 minutes, drain. Add butter and milk then mash together; let cool. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired. Once cool mix in the egg yolks.

Preheat the oven to 400⁰. Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground elk into the skillet. Stir in rosemary, sage and thyme, season with salt and pepper. Cook the elk until cooked through, then transfer to a plate. Heat remaining 1 Tbs oil in same skillet and add onions, celery, mushrooms and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, about 10–12 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour, cook for two minutes. Pour in broth and cook until the mixture thickens. Next return the meat to the skillet with peas and cook for another 5 minutes.

Pour the meat mixture into a baking dish, then spread mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with chopped chives and parsley.

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