Venison Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

Venison Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

When I grew up in New Zealand, Shepherd’s Pie was often on the menu. It was a good way to use up leftover roasts of beef and lamb. My mother would grind up the meat, add leftover gravy, top with mashed potato and bake it until crisp. I think we used to put tomato sauce (aka ketchup) on it. The following recipe is an overhauled version of an old favorite; I have added a crispy base and layered baked potato instead of mashed. Hunting season is just around the corner and the richness of venison beats my mother’s leftover roasts (sorry Mum).


  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 Medium onion chopped
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery stalk
  • 2 Cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 Tsp. paprika
  • ½ Tsp. sea salt
  • ½ Tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 2 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup beef or chicken stock
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup chopped green zucchini squash (optional)
  • ½ cup chopped cherry tomatoes halved
  • 2 Large baking potatoes, such as Russet, cleaned and dried
  • Phyllo dough sheets (available in the frozen section)
  • Canola cooking spray
  • ¾ cup grated hard cheese


  1. In a heavy pan heat the canola oil; add the first 6 ingredients, sauté for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Turn up the heat slightly and add the ground venison, sprinkle the flour over the venison and sauté, gently stirring the mixture as it cooks.
  3. When the venison is slightly browned, lower back to a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add stock and soy sauce, stir in the zucchini and continue to sauté on low heat for 3 minutes and then remove from the heat.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes and set aside at room temperature (this can be made ahead and refrigerated until the next stage of the recipe).
  6. Place the potatoes in the microwave until cooked but firm, remove and set aside to cool. Slice the potatoes about 1/2 inch thick.
  7. Take an 8-inch pie or lasagna pan and spray the entire inside with cooking oil. Line the pan with four layers of Phyllo taking it up to the top edge. Give a light cooking oil spray between each layer. If you haven’t worked with Phyllo before, it’s very forgiving and don’t worry if it tears, just press it together with a little oil. You wont notice it after its cooked.
  8. Once the pan is lined, add the venison mixture, then cover the top with the sliced potato. Sprinkle with your favorite cheese, I like to use a sharp, aged cheddar.
  9. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake about 20 minutes or until the Phyllo is a light golden color and the cheese is melted.
  10. Place the dish under the broiler at the end to crisp the potato and cheese topping slightly.
Maggie Rosaine
Born in New Zealand, Maggie Rosaine has always enjoyed coming up with cool recipes for the fresh fish and wild game that her family managed to catch. She has a degree in nutrition from the University of Illinois and when not cooking or developing recipes, she enjoys photography and takes all of the ...