Elk Meat Shepherd's Pie

Updated: Jan 24

Red meat, gravy, veggies, and potatoes… Who could ever ask for more!

What is Shepherd’s Pie?

The first mention of Shepherd’s Pie dates back to the late 1700’s in the United Kingdom and Ireland. It initially started as a way for peasants to combine the leftovers from multiple meals into one dish. Today this is typically thought of as an Irish dish and mostly commonly made around St. Patrick’s Day in the United States.

While there are many different variations, we believe that the use of a cast iron skillet and game meat adds another dimension of flavor that you won’t find in any restaurant (unless they’re fans of the blog of course). Another addition to our recipe that isn’t commonly used is the clarified duck fat over oil. This is because of the richness that the duck fat adds, and trust us when we say that we love substituting that whenever we can. It’s just that delicious.

Do I have to use Elk meat?

Not at all! There are literally hundreds of variations of Shepherd’s Pie out there, and the only thing that they all have in common is the use of red meat and potatoes. So, while venison, beef, and lamb would make excellent substitutes (venison and lamb being the most traditional), I don’t know that I would experiment with poultry in this recipe.

Be sure to rate and comment what you think of this recipe below!

Feeling lazy? Here are some tips to make this dish easier:

Use frozen veggies – We highly encourage using farm fresh ingredients, but we understand that sometimes that’s not feasible.

Use your leftover/premade mash potatoes – Again, freshly made is best, but this can help save some time.


Elk Meat Shepherds Pie:


  • Oven

  • Cast Iron Skillet

  • Spatula


  • 1 lb ground elk

  • 2 cups mashed potatoes

  • 1 shallot chopped

  • 1 cup peas

  • 1 cup carrots diced

  • 1/2 cup beef broth

  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour

  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 2 tbsp minced garlic

  • 2 tbsp clarified duck fat olive oil works too

  • 1 tsp thyme

  • pinch parsley

  • pinch salt

  • pinch pepper


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C)

  • In a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, begin cooking chopped shallot, diced carrots, and garlic in the clarified fat (or oil).

  • Once carrots are cooked through, add ground elk meat and cook until browned.

  • Add peas, salt, pepper, thyme, and cayenne to the meat mixture and stir often until peas are cooked through.

  • Begin adding all-purpose flour to meat mixture, 1 tbsp at a time to ensure even coating.

  • Once flour is incorporated, add beef broth to mixture and let simmer until sauce thickens.

  • Removed skillet from heat and evenly distribute meat around the pan, creating a level layer.

  • Using a spatula, top meat with mashed potatoes creating a smooth layer about 1 inch thick.

  • Place skillet in preheated oven until the top of the mashed potatoes begins to brown. (CAREFUL WHEN REMOVING, THE SKILLET WILL BE HOT!)

  • Garnish with pinch of parsley and serve when you can no longer hear the mixture sizzling.

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