Yummy Fixins: Ground elk shepherd’s pie (recipe)
Shepherd’s pie has to be one of the ultimate comfort foods. Sautéed beef and vegetables cooked in fresh herbs and topped with mashed potatoes — what could be more comforting than that?
Traditionally shepherd’s pie is made with ground lamb, but here I’ve made it with Durham Ranch ground elk. Super tasty! You can easily substitute the elk for ground beef, turkey or lamb.
Make sure to use chicken broth if using lamb or turkey.
Ground Elk Shepherd’s Pie
Makes four – six servings.
3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and halved
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup heavy cream or whole milk
½ cup unsalted butter
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 pound ground elk
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped sage
2 tablespoons thyme
1 teaspoon ground pepper
½ cup white onion, chopped
¼ cup celery, chopped
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
½ cup carrots, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups beef broth
½ cup frozen peas
Chopped parsley & chives, for garnish
Peel and cut potatoes; cook until tender, about 20 minutes, drain. Add butter and milk then mash together; let cool. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as desired. Once cool mix in the egg yolks.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble the ground elk into the skillet. Stir in rosemary, sage and thyme, season with salt and pepper. Cook the elk until cooked through, then transfer to a plate. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet and add onions, celery, mushrooms and carrots. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables start to soften, about 10 – 12 minutes. Add tomato paste and flour, cook for two minutes. Pour in broth and cook until the mixture thickens. Next return the meat to the skillet with peas and cook for another five minutes.
Pour the meat mixture into a baking dish, then spread mashed potatoes evenly over the top. Bake until golden brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Garnish with chopped chives and parsley.
Chef Arica Davis is owner/operator of Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit http://www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party.