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Main Course

Paleo Wild Game Shepherd’s Pie

This Paleo-friendly St. Patrick's Day recipe hits all the right notes. If venison isn't your thing, substitute 1½ lbs. grass-fed beef.

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This Paleo-friendly take on a traditional Shepherd’s Pie was created as a way to make ground venison taste good. I really never liked ground venison, but I was excited to eat meat that I, my family, or my friends had procured while hunting. I typically only enjoyed the backstrap or jerky, so I really wanted to challenge myself to create a flavorful dish with the ground meat. With this recipe, I accomplished that goal, and I really enjoy making it for others when I have the opportunity.

If you enjoy this hearty St. Patrick’s Day dish, visit Paleo Magazine for more great hunter-gatherer recipes.

Paleo Wild Game Shepherd’s Pie

Servings
4–5

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbs. cooking fat of your choice
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 3 carrots, medium dice
  • 3 celery sticks, medium dice
  • 1½ cups cabbage, julienne
  • 1½ lbs. ground venison or bison
  • ¼ cup plus 3 Tbs. broth (chicken or beef)
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. honey or maple syrup
  • 1½ Tbs. plus 1 tsp. mustard
  • ¼ tsp. paprika
  • ⅛ tsp. cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne (optional)
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh garlic
  • 2 Tbs. butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 head cauliflower (small dice or riced)
  • 1 Tbs. sage (fresh or sundried)

Preparation

  1. Add 1 Tbs. cooking fat to large sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until soft. Add carrots and celery, and cook 3 minutes. Add meat, and cook thoroughly, breaking into small pieces. Add cabbage, and cook until translucent.
  2. Turn off the heat and add tomato paste, ¼ cup broth, honey, mustard, paprika, cinnamon, cayenne, garlic, and butter. Mix well, then add salt and pepper to taste. Place the mixture into large cast iron skillet, Dutch oven, or baking dish, and set aside. Preheat oven to 385ºF.
  3. Chop cauliflower into small pieces, and place in medium bowl. Add the mustard, remaining broth, and fresh sage, and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Pour cauliflower mixture over meat and veggies, and spread evenly. Bake 25–30 minutes, or until slightly browned.