Tastes of the Fall - Wilderness North

Celebrating 30 Years of Wilderness North  –          

Tastes of the Fall

As I mentioned before, fall signals the beginning of root vegetable crops becoming ready, kids back to school, sweater weather and so much more. Fall is quickly coming to a close here in Thunder Bay; we had our first snowfall a few nights ago. I seem to be on a kick of comfort food now, as the weather is cool and the house can handle the heat that the oven throws. I find myself looking for recipes in my spare time. Whether it’s leafing through old magazines, or looking online, there are so many options to test out.

With Gord writing about essential tools for hunting, I thought I would focus this week on local game. Always a lover of Shepherd’s Pie, I took it one step further by using ground moose and using sweet potato instead of regular potato.

  • 2lbs sweet potato, washed, peeled and cubed
  • 3 large potatoes, washed, peeled and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • ½ red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs ground moose, beef or venison
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, diced
  • ¾ cup frozen peas (I used edamame)
  • salt to season
  • 2 tablespoons beef stock in 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons flour whisked into 1/2 cup water (flour slurry)
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese


  1. Preheat oven to  400F. Combine sweet potato and potatoes with just enough water to cover them, in a large pot over medium heat, and boil until tender. Drain well, add the butter and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to suit your tastes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and pepper, and cook stirring for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until onions become transparent. Add the garlic and cook stirring again, for about 2 minutes. Add moose and fry until meat is browned on all sides (break up all lumps with your wooden spoon). Add the tomatoes, cover pot with lid, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes soften. When tomatoes are soft, add the peas, salt and beef stock mixture, and simmer again covered with lid for about 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add flour slurry to the mixture. Stir and mix to combine until a sauce forms, reduces and thickens. Stir the spinach and parsley through, and take off heat.
  3. Evenly spread half the sweet potato/potato mash into a large baking dish. Spoon the moose mixture over the top, and spread remaining mash over the top of the moose.
  4. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Bake until the top of the pie turns a golden brown and sauce is bubbling underneath (about 20 minutes).

This dish can be made the night before and baked the next day. It goes really well with a nice salad and big glass of dry red wine!

Until Next Time!

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