There is some debate over what these types of meat and vegetable dishes topped with a layer of mashed potato should be called. Shepherd’s Pie is the most common title, but it originally earned its name because the pie was made with lamb or mutton, hence the shepherds. Cottage Pie is the name most often used when the filling is made with your everyday ground beef. The word “cottage” evokes the feeling of a cozy, oft-made meal made in a quaint neighborhood, an everyman’s dish. Then there’s Hunter’s Pie, which is typically made with venison, but I think many game meats, like moose, fit the bill nicely. I like to use moose, so I named this one Hunter’s Pie. But feel free to call it whatever seems most familiar to you and use the meat you have that is local and available, which is really what this dish is all about.
- Yield: 6 Servings
- 1¾ pounds russet potatoes, peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 egg yolk
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ cup grated Cheddar cheese
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1½ pounds ground moose or lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1½ tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 tablespoons ketchup
- 1 cup beef broth
- ½ cup peas
- ½ cup corn
- Salt and ground black pepper
To Make the Potatoes
- Place a pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and boil for 12 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Transfer the potatoes to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment. Turn the mixer on low and gradually add the butter, milk, egg yolk, and garlic powder to the potatoes. Increase the speed and whip for 30 seconds, or until fluffy. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. To Make the Filling
- In a large oven-proof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the onion and carrots, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and rosemary and cook for 1 minute, or until fragrant. Add the meat and cook until browned. Sprinkle the flour over the top, stir to coat, and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and beef broth and stir until combined. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook for 2 minutes, or until it thickens. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the peas and corn. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Using a rubber spatula, spread the potato mixture evenly over top of the filling. Sprinkle the potatoes with the cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, the potatoes are heated through, and the filling is bubbling. Serve in bowls.