With winter upon us, there is a warm welcoming feeling of the aroma of a cottage pie, straight from the oven to the dinner plate. Nostalgic, simple and sentimental.
The filling is a combination of ground bison and minced elk meat, but don’t let that deter you from trying this recipe if you don’t have those ingredients. You can easily substitute any ground game or minced game for this recipe; elk, venison, antelope, bighorn sheep etc. The key is that you want at least 1 1/2 pounds of meat. It’s the combination of the vegetables, meat and gravy that make this dish superb. And since we’re talking about substitutes, I prefer to use a low carb whipped cauliflower topping to complete this dish instead of a starchy mashed potato.
Wild Game Cottage Pie
- 1 lb ground bison
- 1/2 lb elk steak, minced / thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup zucchini, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp flour
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups beef broth
- 1 cup red wine, cabernet or merlot
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp granulated garlic powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 head cauliflower, trimmed, florets coarsley chopped
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- Heat a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Carefully add the cubed meat to the skillet frying until lightly browned on the edges. Add the ground game and continue cooking until done. Remove from heat.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss in the mushrooms, onions, shallots, zucchini and garlic cooking until the onions soften about 15 minutes.
- Sprinkle flour over the vegetables and stir to coat. Whisk in the beef broth, tomato paste and red wine and cook for a few minutes. Add the browned game meat to the saucepan and season with salt and garlic powder. Add a bay leaf and reduce the heat simmering for 45 minutes or until the gravy thickens.
- Cook cauliflower florets in a large saucepan of boiling water for 15 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan and drain. Add the cauliflower back into the pan and puree with an immersion blender or potato masher. Add butter and season with salt. Cover with a lid to keep cauliflower mash warm.
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Pour the meat into an oven proof dish or pie pan and top with the cauliflower mash. Season the mash with Parmesan cheese and dried parsley flakes. (I also like to drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil on top). Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the topping is golden browned.
- Garnish with chopped green onions and serve immediately.