Keto Hearty Venison Shepherd’s Pie is my lush take on the British classic.
With just 9g carbs for the complete keto meal, this dish is the perfect winter warmer. It’s rich, satisfying, intensely flavoured, and easy to customise.
You can add chillies for a spicy version. You can use different meats according to your preference. Top with pumpkin, butternut squash, or celeriac for variety. You may even want to change the topping to a more traditional mash.
Not a quick recipe, but an outstanding one.
How to Make Keto Hearty Venison Shepherd’s Pie
It’s a bit hands-on to start with, as you need to chop the veggies finely for the mirepoix and brown the meat. But then the long + slow cooking leaves you with plenty of free time.
You will need a casserole or sauté pan that’s suitable for hob + oven. I use my If you’re in the U.S. a . should be fine.
You’ll also need an ordinary frying pan for the mirepoix.
After chopping all your veggies very finely and softening them, you add them to the browned mince together with all herbs and spices and simmer gently for 2 hours. Meanwhile, you slice the swede and boil it for a few minutes. When the meat is cooked, you simply top it with the swede slices, pour crème fraîche and butter over it, and finish the dish in the oven.
The final oven step can be sped up by using the grill (broiler). Everything is cooked already, so you just want to caramelise the top. Just make sure not to exceed the max temperature that your pan can withstand.
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Keto Hearty Venison Shepherd's Pie
- 1.2 Kg venison mince
- 40 g carrot (net weight after peeling)
- 80 g celery stick
- 1 shallot
- 2 cloves garlic
- 100 g red cabbage (a wedge)
- 30 g extra virgin olive oil (2 TBSP) - U.S. option HERE
- ½ TBSP fine himalayan pink salt - U.S. option HERE
- 5 bay leaves
- 2 TBSP fresh thyme (no stems, just leaves)
- ½ tsp of each: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ⅛ tsp white pepper
- 25 g tomato paste (2 long squirts)
- 1 chicken stock cube - U.S. option HERE
- 100 g red wine (dry red - not the sweet varieties)
- 250 g swede (roughly ½ small swede weighing 600g before peeling)
- 30 g unsalted butter
- 300 g crème fraîche
- prepare a mirepoix by chopping vegetables finely, and place them into a large frying pan together with the oil.40 g carrot, 80 g celery stick, 1 shallot, 2 cloves garlic, 30 g extra virgin olive oil, 100 g red cabbage
- sautée mirepoix until soft (10 mins) and leave aside in the pan.
- put the mince into an oven-proof sauté pan or casserole, and cook on high heat until browned - use a spatula to keep turning and breaking up chunks.1.2 Kg venison mince
- meanwhile, make the chicken stock: heat 400ml water, add crumbed stock cube and stir until it dissolves.1 chicken stock cube
- pour mirepoix (this pan will be reused later) into the meat pan over high heat, add salt, spices, herbs, tomato paste, wine, and stock, then stir well and bring it to a rolling (fast) boil.½ TBSP fine himalayan pink salt, 5 bay leaves, 2 TBSP fresh thyme, ½ tsp of each: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ¼ tsp ground cloves, ⅛ tsp white pepper, 25 g tomato paste, 100 g red wine
- now reduce heat to a very slow and gentle simmer, and put the lid on the pan, leaving a sliver of opening for steam to escape.
- cook for 2 hours, stirring half way through; adjust seasoning to your taste; check the liquid level in the last 30 minutes - you want hardly any liquid left by the end of cooking time (only fat should remain), so you may need to remove the lid towards the end; you can raise the heat and continue to cook for as long as it takes - there's no danger of overdoing it.
- whilst the meat cooks, cut the swede into large chunks, then slice each chunk as thinly as possible; plunge them into boiling water and cook for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.250 g swede
- once the meat is cooked and only liquid fat is visible, turn off the hob, and pre-heat oven to 200 °C static.
- while the oven is heating up, put butter into the pan you used for the mirepoix earlier, turn on medium-high heat, add crème fraîche and simmer for 2 minutes; set aside.30 g unsalted butter, 300 g crème fraîche
- pat the meat down evenly, lay the swede slices over it, top with the crème fraîche/butter mixture, and bake for 15 minutes; you can also use the grill (broiler) if your pan is suitable for higher temperatures.
- serve piping hot.
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