Pic of Venison cottage pie

Venison cottage pie

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Meat mains

Venison cottage pie

Main Serves 5 1h 30 min
Traditional winter comfort food, cottage pie began life as an improvised dish for using up the remains of the Sunday roast, but it works beautifully here with venison. There's no need to be too exact about quantities; this is a good way of using up odds and ends from your veg box. The nutty strength of celeriac in this mash pairs well with venison, but you could use other root veg with the potato – parsnip, swede or carrots. Serve with buttery Savoy cabbage or kale.


  • 800g potatoes, peeled and cut in 2cm dice
  • 400g celeriac, peeled and cut in 2cm dice
  • butter
  • milk or cream
  • oil for frying, e.g. sunflower or light olive
  • 700g venison mince
  • 2 streaky bacon rashers, finely chopped
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 mushrooms, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml red wine
  • splash Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ tsp dried thyme or 2 sprigs fresh (leaves only)
  • 200ml beef stock or water
  • 1 heaped tsp cornflour
  • salt and pepper
Image of Venison cottage pie


Prep time: 20 min
Cooking time: 1h 10 min
  • Step 1

    Boil potatoes and celeriac in salted water for about 10 minutes until tender. Drain and mash with a good knob of butter, a splash of milk or cream and season well with salt and pepper.
  • Step 2

    While the potatoes are cooking, preheat oven to 200°C/Gas 6.
  • Step 3

    Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick frying pan. Brown the mince, breaking up any larger bits with your spoon. Tip onto a plate.
  • Step 4

    Add the bacon, onion and carrot to the same pan, with a splash more oil if needed. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring now and then, until the onion is soft.
  • Step 5

    Add the garlic, mushrooms and tomato purée and cook for 2 minutes. Put the mince back in the pan, add the wine and cook for 1 minute.
  • Step 6

    Add the Worcestershire sauce, thyme and stock or water. Season. Bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Step 7

    Mix the cornflour in a small bowl with a splash of cold water. Stir together to make a paste. Stir into the mince and cook for another 5 minutes or so to thicken slightly. Taste and check the seasoning.
  • Step 8

    Spoon into an ovenproof dish. Spoon the mash over the top of the mince, making sure all the meat is covered. Spike it up a little with a fork to help it crisp up.
  • Step 9

    Bake for 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven, until golden and crisp.

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