Meat

Bison Shepherd’s Pie

I love when health and comfort go hand in hand.  Shepherd’s pie is the perfect marriage of the two.

shep'spie!
I am so in love with bison, which is crazy ’cause I wasn’t a meat-eater as a kid.  I had nothing against it necessarily, it just wasn’t something I craved.  Thankfully that’s all changed.  In the last few years, I have been going out of my way to make more meat.  I’m a bit picky about it- I like to know where my meat comes from- but turns out I am actually kind of a meat-gal after all.  My favorite?  Bison.  Oh how I love bison.  ;)

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Why bison you ask?  I am surprised by this new obsession myself, as I was once the little girl who roamed the bison ranges in disgust that anyone would eat them.  But as a girl dabbling in meat more often these days, I find it a delicious way to get in some healthy protein.  It’s super lean (significantly more-so than beef) and has a distinct flavor that, when paired with sage, just can’t do anybody any wrong I’m convinced.  (My favorite hamburgers are bison meat with some fresh sage and sautéed onions- so good.)  I guess I’m just a bison-gal now, revelation had.  Oh, how life changes us ;)

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This is a super easy recipe that simply screams comfort.  I can see why shepherd’s pie is something people have relied on for years… it’s hearty, it’s healthy, it’s simple, and it’s made from the most basic foods.  (Of course the bison changes that a bit, but with beef, this is certainly “peasant food” at its finest.)  It’s basically just mashed potatoes atop some meat and veggies.  If I lived on a farm (which sometimes I think would be fab), I would be making versions of this day in and day out.

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Play with this as you want… as is, it’s simple and comforting; perfect in my opinion.  You could always add more veggies, or omit any you don’t like.  It’s one of those dishes you just can’t really mess up.  I have made this three times in the last few weeks, and have loved every one!
 
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serve 4-6

INGREDIENTS

for the potato topping…

3 Russet Potatoes (about 5 cups chopped)

1 tbsp ghee (or butter)

1/2 cup milk (I use whole milk)

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 tsp fresh chopped rosemary

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

 

for the meat filling…

1 lb ground bison/buffalo (sub. beef or turkey if preferred)

1 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cu chopped carrots

3 garlic cloves (1 tbsp minced)

1/2 cup peas (frozen are fine)

1/4 cup red wine (preferably one you’d like to drink)

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (preferably a good quality one, without corn syrup)

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves

1 1/2 tsp fresh sage leaves

1/4 tsp salt

1 tbsp olive oil

fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish

*you’ll need a large oven-safe pan… cast-iron works great

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DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Begin by bringing a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil

Peel potatoes and roughly chop

Boil for about 15 minutes, until soft

Strain liquid

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 Add the potatoes back to the pot (empty all water first)

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Add the ghee, milk, parmesan, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper

Stir/mash until smooth and creamy

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Taste and adjust seasonings as desired

Let sit while you prepare the remaining ingredients

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To make the meat stuffing…

Chop the onion, carrots, and garlic (garlic should be minced)

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In a large oven-safe pan (I used cast iron), heat olive oil over medium heat and

add onion, carrots, and garlic along with 1/4 tsp salt

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Stir and let cook for about five minutes

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Add meat- stir to break it up

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Finely chop the thyme leaves and sage

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Add the herbs to the meat

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Stir well to mix everything up

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Add the wine, Worcestershire sauce, and chicken broth

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Add peas

Let it all cook for about 5 more minutes, still over medium heat, no lid

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Once the meat is no longer pink, taste and adjust seasonings as desired

Turn heat off (but keep that oven on!)
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Make sure the meat mixture is evenly mixed and spread along the bottom of the pan

Scoop the potatoes on top of the meat

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Using a large spoon, spread the potatoes over the meat until even and smooth

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This step is optional: using a fork, make small little pokes in the potato- this makes ‘golden peaks’ when cooked

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Place the pan in the oven, middle rack- uncovered, and bake for about 20 minutes

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To get a nice golden top, broil for the last few minutes

(the edges will turn a little brown from the liquid- if this bothers you, just make the edges

thicker with potato topping so the liquid doesn’t boil up as much when cooking)

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Top with rosemary if you wish

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Serve hot and enjoy!!

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Bison Shepherd's Pie
 
Author:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • for the potato topping...
  • 3 Russet Potatoes (about 5 cups chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (or butter)
  • ½ cup milk (I use whole milk)
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¼ tsp fresh chopped rosemary
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • for the meat filling...
  • 1 lb ground bison/buffalo (sub. beef or turkey if preferred)
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cu chopped carrots
  • 3 garlic cloves (1 tbsp minced)
  • ½ cup peas (frozen are fine)
  • ¼ cup red wine (preferably one you'd like to drink)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (preferably a good quality one, without corn syrup)
  • ½ cup chicken broth
  • 1½ tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1½ tsp fresh sage leaves
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • fresh rosemary sprigs, for garnish
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  3. Peel potatoes and roughly chop
  4. Boil potatoes for about 15 minutes, until soft
  5. Strain liquid and then return potatoes back to the pot
  6. Add ghee, milk, Parmesan, rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper
  7. Stir/mash until smooth and creamy- taste and adjust seasonings as desired
  8. Set aside while you prepare the remaining ingredients
  9. To make the meat stuffing, chop the onion and carrots and finely mince the garlic
  10. In a large oven-proof pan (I use cast iron), heat the olive oil over medium heat
  11. Add the onion, carrots, and garlic along with ¼ tsp salt
  12. Stir and let cook for about 5 minutes, then add the meat and chopped thyme and sage leaves, wine, Worcestire sauce, chicken broth, and peas
  13. Saute for about 5 minutes, uncovered
  14. Once the meat is no longer pink, taste and adjust seasonings as needed... remove from heat
  15. Scoop the potatoes over the meat, speading them evenly and smoothly over the top (optional, use a fork to make small peaks in the potatoes)
  16. Bake uncovered in the oven for about 20 minutes... then broil for the last few to brown the top, if desired
  17. To garnish, top with rosemary leaves
  18. Serve warm and enjoy!

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About Me

Hi, I'm Natalie! I like to cook, eat, and adventure. I live in a little home with an itty-bitty kitchen, a crazy feline, and a very hungry boyfriend. Lots of cooking and devouring goes down here. Farmer's markets inspire me, as do the seasons and travel. I create simple recipes using wholesome real food. Enjoy!

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