Shepherd’s Pie With Bison And Red Wine

This one is for the ‘adventurer’ for sure. You can buy Bison at most large grocery stores. If not, buy boneless chuck or even beef short ribs. Each will work just fine.

  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • generous pinch of ground black pepper
  • 3 1/2 lbs. Bison, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1/3 lb. bacon, rindless, cut into 1/2  inch pieces
  • 2 – 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup each peeled and chopped carrot and celery
  • 3 chopped garlic cloves
  • 2 cups red wine such as Merlot
  • 2  2/3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. each chopped fresh thyme and fresh sage
  • 10 oz. pearl onions,
  • 1 1/2 cups peeled parsnips, cubed
  • 12 baby turnips, trimmed and peeled

Whisk the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and add the bison. Toss to coat. Heat a large pot over a medium temperature and add the bacon. Cook until crisp. Transfer to paper towels. Add 2 tbsp. oil to the pot and increase the temperature to high. Working in small batches, cook the bison until browned, return to same bowl. If needed, add more oil and continue cooking the meat.

In the pot, add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic. Cover and cook until all are tender (about 5 minutes). Add the wine and bring to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pots for all the ‘goody’ bits. Add the broth, tomatoes,  bay leaves, thyme, sage, bacon and bison. Reduce temperature to low, cover and simmer for 2 hours. If using beef, it will take 1 1/2 hours.

Cook pearl onions in pot of salted water for 2 minutes and place in a bowl of ice water. Trim and peel.

Transfer the bison to a baking sheet and cut the meat from the bones and chop into 1/2-3/4 inch cubes. Add the parsnips and turnips to a pot with the bison sauce simmer until tender to 15 minutes. Add the onions and cook a further 5 minutes. Return meat to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.


Mashed Potato Crust


2 2 1/2 lbs. russet potatoes, peeled and quartered

3/4 cup cream

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup whole milk

pinch of salt and pepper

large egg, beaten to blend


Cook the potatoes until tender (about 18-20 minutes). Drain. In your electric mixer, blend the potatoes with the butter, cream and milk, salt and pepper and egg until smooth. Cover the bison meat mixture completely with the potatoes. Place in a large casserole on top of a parchment lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle the top with grated Asiago cheese and a few dots of butter. Bake in preheated 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes until browned and completely heated through. Let rest for about 10 minutes and serve with a truly wonderful red wine.

In a word….delicious! Fooled you….


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