Category: Moose/Beef

What does Sheppard’s pie bring to mind?

Country? Rural? Down-home?

I think Sheppard’s pie describes my weekend perfectly.

I went to a rodeo in Vanderhoof, BC to watch my friend ride a bull. I didn’t really realize what I was getting myself into when I agreed to go. I used to go to rodeos all the time (I grew up in 100 Mile House, BC) but apparently I forgot just how stressful it can be watching someone you know ride an angry bucking bull!

You have to stay on the bucking bull for eight seconds, which doesn’t seem like long until you realize how massive and aggressive these animals are: they weigh between 1,100-2,200 lbs! National Geographic called it the most dangerous eight seconds in sports.

bull riding

Photo credit: Bull Rider photo by DBKing

These crazy cowboys pay expensive entry fees to ride these things, and then they make you wait in anticipation for hours until the very end of the rodeo to do it! At least we all got to go to the barn dance when it was over.

sheppards pie

Anyway, my point, in a very round about way, is that I had a country themed weekend and it inspired me to make a country themed recipe!

Sheppard’s pie has many variations and goes by many names including cottage pie, sheppardless pie (vegetarian version), cumberland pie (made with a layer of breadcrumbs on top), St Stephen Day’s pie (made with turkey or ham) and the French Canadian version pâté chinois (French for “Chinese pie”) often made with ketchup mixed in.

Considering there is so many variations of this recipe I  decided I deserve to have my own version — Melissa Pie! It suits me perfectly: it’s colorful, healthy, fun, and a little sneaky!


sheppards pie


Melissa (Sheppard's) Pie
Recipe type: Main
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-12
  • 500g extra-lean ground meat (I used moose)
  • 1.5 cups canned green lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cups finely chopped onion
  • 1.5 cups finely chopped carrot
  • 1.5 cups chopped celery
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ - ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ cups reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 1.5 cups canned or thawed frozen corn, drained
  • 1 cup peas
  • 4.5-5 cups mashed yam and cauliflower mix(about 2-3 medium sweet potatoes and half a large head of cauliflower)
  • 3 cloves garlic, roasted
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. To prepare mashed topping steam or roast chopped yams (with skin) and cauliflower until tender (this goes quick in the microwave if you want to speed things up). Then process them in a food processor with the roasted garlic, a splash or two of milk, a bit of butter, salt and pepper (to taste) until the desired consistency, leave a little chunky if you like
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook meat, breaking it up with the back of a spoon, for about 8 minutes or until no longer pink. You can add a few crushed red pepper flakes if you like it a little spicy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a bowl, mix in the lentils and set aside. Drain off all but about 2-3 tsp fat from the pan (if you use moose there will be no fat in the pan)
  4. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and saute for 5 min. Add carrot, celery, pepper and nutmeg to the skillet and sauté for 5 to 10 minutes more or until vegetables are softened. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds. Sprinkle with flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth and bring to a boil; boil, stirring, until thickened. Return beef, lentil mixture and accumulated juices to the pan and stir to coat
  5. Pour beef mixture into a 9*13 inch baking dish. Sprinkle corn and peas evenly over top. Spread yam and cauliflower mash evenly over corn and peas
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out hot (if you really want you can also top this dish with some shredded cheese when it comes out of the oven)

A moose can stand more than 7 ft high, 10 ft long and weigh up to 1,500 lbs! There is a LOT of them up here in the North, so I see lots of these signs…

But considering their size — I think this is more accurate…

My uncle and grandfather shot a moose near Chetwynd, BC this September and kindly enough passed a bunch of it on to me! Moose roasts, breakfast sausage, ground moose (amazing in tacos) and steaks. I had never cooked a moose roast before, but I was excited to try! My house-mates in Terrace were my test subjects (they didn’t mind).

When all was said and done this was an awesome dinner. It was so easy. Although, the moose roast cooked faster than I thought it would so keep an eye on it.

Moose is a healthy alternative to beef. It is lean and the fat that is found in it is made up of a higher proportion of good fats. Moose is also a great source of iron and B vitamins. So if you’re lucky enough to have some on your hands — eat up!


 Moose Roast Recipe

Garlic Rosemary Moose Roast
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Grandma and I have perfected this moose roast recipe! Enjoy :)
  • 3-4 lb moose roast (beef is acceptable if you don't have moose)
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) pepper
  • 1 tsp (1 mL) dried rosemary
  • -----------------------
  • ¼ cup (50 mL) red_wine
  • 1.5-2 cups (500 mL) sodium-reduced beef broth
  • 1.5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose_flour
  • ⅓ cup feta or blue cheese
  1. Place roast on a rack in roasting pan (ensure your roasting pan isn't too big so your drippings don't spread out too much and burn, you can add a little water and oil to the pan to help prevent this). You can also add onion and celery to the pan to help flavor your gravy.
  2. Mash garlic with salt; stir in oil, ½ tsp of the pepper and rosemary. Spread all over roast.
  3. Oven-sear roast, uncovered, at 450°F (230°C) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 315°F, roast for 80 minutes or until a thermometer registers 140°F (for medium-rare -- recommended) or 155°F (for medium).
  4. Transfer to a cutting board; tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. This ensure the juices don't run out of the roast when you cut it - and it is the perfect time to make the gravy with the drippings and throw biscuits in the oven.
  5. Place roasting pan over medium-high heat (or pour drippings into a pot, scraping the bottom). Add wine, whisking up brown bits. Add broth, vinegar remaining pepper; bring to simmer, stirring. Whisk flour with ¼ cup COLD water until smooth; whisk into pan.
  6. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly. Reduce heat, add cheese and simmer for about 3 minutes or until thickened. If you're using salty feta be sure to use no/low salt beef broth or the gravy will be really salty! Serve on roast with warm biscuits


- Formerly known as Apron Strings and Healthy Things -

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