Pic of Venison cottage pie with buttered cabbage

Venison cottage pie with buttered cabbage

Show ingredients


Venison cottage pie with buttered cabbage

Serves 3 1h 25 min
Cottage pie is a British comfort food favourite. This version uses venison instead of beef; it's leaner and adds a rich flavour. Topped with our organic spuds, mashed with a little butter, and baked until the topping is just crisp, it's a real treat. To get ahead, make the venison filling and mash the day before, then assemble and bake the next day, or bake and gently reheat. It also freezes well.

Cook's notes

When mashing spuds, take care not to overwork them as it can make them gloopy. If you don't have one. We recommend a potato ricer; not too expensive, they make the best mash.


  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 100g butter
  • a splash of milk (optional)
  • oil for frying
  • 400g venison mince
  • 1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 celery stick, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 mushrooms, diced
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100ml red wine
  • 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
  • 3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 tsp cornflour
  • ½ large Savoy cabbage
  • salt and pepper
Image of Venison cottage pie with buttered cabbage


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 1h 15 min
  • Step 1

    Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with a good pinch of salt. Cover with water, bring to the boil and cook until tender; about 10 mins or so. Drain, leave in the colander for 2 mins, then mash with the butter and a splash of milk too if you like, season to taste and set aside.
  • Step 2

    Preheat your oven to 190°C/Gas 5. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Fry the venison mince until nicely browned (this adds flavour), breaking up larger bits with your spoon. Transfer to a plate.
  • Step 3

    Add a little more oil to the frying pan. Fry the onion, carrot and celery on a low heat for 10 mins, stirring now and then, until softening. Add a splash of water if it looks like catching at any point.
  • Step 4

    Return the venison to the pan and cook for 5 more mins.
  • Step 5

    Stir the garlic, mushrooms and tomato purée into the venison. Cook for 2 mins. Pour in the wine. Cook for 1 min or so, until the wine is almost all absorbed.
  • Step 6

    Add the Worcester sauce, thyme and 300ml water. Season and simmer for 10 mins, stirring now and then. Keep an eye on the liquid level and your heat.
  • Step 7

    Mix the cornflour in a small bowl, or mug, with a splash of water. Stir to make a paste. Stir it into the mince. Cook for 1-2 mins, to thicken the mixture slightly, then transfer the mixture to an ovenproof dish.
  • Step 8

    Spoon the mash over the top, making sure the meat is well covered. Spike the mash up using a fork (this helps it crisp). Bake for approx. 25-30 mins, or until golden and crisp on top.
  • Step 9

    When the pie is almost ready, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan. Stir-fry the cabbage on a medium heat for 5 mins or so, until wilted. Adding a splash of water will help it wilt down. Stir in the rest of the butter. Season to taste. Serve with the pie.

You may also like…