Monday, November 08, 2010

A Year of Deer, Episode 21: Slow Cooker Shepherd's Pie

Well, friends, we are coming to the end of both the year and the deer. Not including the pound of ground meet I used for today's recipe, I have one more pound of ground venison and about two pounds of chops left in my freezer from the doe Travis shot in Michigan last Thanksgiving. When it is gone, I think I will feel a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction...which I will hug tight to my chest as I brace myself for a possible Second Year of Deer. The Lord has generously provided a place for Travis to go bow hunting for deer in Illinois this year (about which my handsome hunter is positively giddy) and so there very well may be a whole new deer coming soon to a freezer near me.

On to today's episode. My goal was this: make dinner using a pound of ground venison and other ingredients I already had in the house. The answer came (as many do) from my favorite cookbook of late, Stephanie O'Dea's Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. I substituted venison for the beef in her recipe for Shepherd's Pie. The spices, frozen veggies, shredded cheese, and potatoes were all things I had on hand. This recipe takes more prep than many slow-cooker recipes because everything goes in already cooked. Thus, the meat had to be browned, and the potatoes had to be cooked and mashed. Not that big of a deal, though. The reward has been tasty aromas all afternoon, and dinner that's ready to go whenever my husband gets home, which varies on Mondays.

Update: here are pics of the shepherd's pie at the end of the cooking time, and then plated. Travis was a big fan of this meal and asked for seconds. He also took the leftovers for lunch today.

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