Venison chilli cottage pie served in a dish

Venison chilli cottage pie

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(3 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 4 hrs, 30 mins

More effort

Serves 4

Try this twist on cottage pie using venison instead of beef. If you don't fancy the spiced mash topping, you can swap that out, too, for a puff pastry lid

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: Per serving

  • kcal800
  • fat27g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs62g
  • sugars11g
  • fibre9g
  • protein60g
  • salt1.4g


  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 800g diced stewing venison, haunch is a good cut to use if you dice your own



    The term venison was originally used to describe the meat of any furred game, but in Britain it…

  • 2 onions, finely chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 250ml red wine
  • 600ml chicken or beef stock
  • 2 tbsp cornflour mixed with a little cold water
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 50g 70% dark chocolate, grated

    Chocolate ganache


    Chocolate ganache is a combination of chocolate and double cream. It's simple to…

For the topping

  • 1kg mashing potatoes (such as King Edwards), peeled and quartered



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 150ml soured cream
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 50g cheddar, grated



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  1. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 2. Heat half the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and fry the venison in batches until it has a dark caramelised crust, then transfer to a plate. Turn the heat right down, give the dish a quick wipe with some kitchen paper and add a little more oil, then fry the onions over a low heat for about 20 mins until caramelised. Stir in the garlic and spices, cook for a couple of mins, then add the venison back to the pan, stirring so all the spices coat the venison. Pour in the wine and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven for 2½ hrs until the meat is very tender.

  2. Lift the venison out of pan and set aside on a plate. Reduce the sauce by two-thirds, whisk in the cornflour mix, then cook over a low heat for 5 mins until thickened and glossy. Tip the venison back in along with the lime zest and juice and the grated chocolate, stir everything together, check the seasoning and pour into a gratin dish or individual pie dishes and chill in the fridge. Can be made three days ahead and chilled for up to six months ahead and frozen.

  3. To make the mash, boil the potatoes in salted water. Add the soured cream to a pan and gently heat. When the potatoes are tender, drain well, then either pass through a ricer into a bowl or mash them. Mix in the chilli, then slowly stir in the soured cream until you have a light, fluffy mash. Add a little seasoning and spread or pipe over the chilled chilli mix, then scatter over the cheese. Pop in the fridge until needed. Can be assembled up to a day before, or frozen for up to one month.

  4. To cook the pie, heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 6. Bake for 45 mins until golden and bubbling, leave to sit for 10 mins and serve straight from the dish.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Be the first to comment...We'd love to hear how you got on with this recipe. Did you like it? Would you recommend others give it a try?
2nd Feb, 2020
If cooking from frozen (mash top version) what would the oven temp and timing be?
CassieBest's picture
4th Feb, 2020
Hi catzmcp, I'd recommend defrosting the pie in the fridge for 24 hrs, then baking. I hope that helps, Cassie (Senior Food Editor, BBC Good Food)
25th Nov, 2018
Are the cooking time and temperature the same if using a puff pastry top instead of the mash top?
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Nov, 2018
Thanks for your question. We would recommend having the oven hotter for puff pastry. As we haven't tested this, we can't give exact timings but would suggest 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 for 30 mins or until the puff pastry is golden and the filling is bubbling.
Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
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