We spend most of the month of October at our vacation home in Florida. The day after returning No Frills had a great sale on potatoes, beets, carrots and onions at $1.88 for a 10 lb bag each so of course I had to take advantage of that. The week after returning home, my husband left for hunt camp with the guys. He doesn't hunt himself so along with another good friend they are chief cook and bottle washer. The guys have a lot of good old fashion fun and always share the rewards of any catch. This year they took down a five point buck, so there was each of them brought home a little over 20 lb of venison each.
I like to steam the vegetables when making rustic potatoes. In fact, I prefer steamed vegetables to those boiled. Steamed vegetables lack the sogginess that comes with boiling vegetables. They are higher in nutrition as well plus steaming vegetables are an eco-friendly way to cook vegetables because they use less water and energy. Oh and if all those benefits weren't enough, they are very, very inexpensive and beyond easy to make, something every frugal cook loves to hear.
Rustic potatoes are ideal as a side dish and topping cottage pies or other casseroles. They can be used as a pierogi or hot pocket filling as well. I have also used rustic potatoes as a filling for rolled meatloaf. A rolled meatloaf has a spiral effect. The rustic potatoes look lovely when used this way while getting more nutrition into the finished dish. These potatoes freeze nicely so make up a large batch then make a few dishes for the freezer for a bit of homemade convenience.
I used a covered glass casserole dish for the venison cottage pie. At this point, I could have froze as is then popped out the frozen casserole and vacuum sealed it or instead of using a glass casserole dish, an aluminium baking tray is what I normally use for casseroles destined for the freezer. If freezing in aluminium trays, I cover the top of the casserole with wax paper then seal tightly with aluminium foil. Venison cottage pie can also be frozen in individual serving sizes using large muffin tins to freeze then pop out and vacuum seal.
The venison cottage pie just out of the oven looked delicious and smelled divine The rustic potato topping is a perfect match for the rich flavour of the venison. This was a good sized casserole that gave a yield of six to eight generous servings. The cooked venison cottage pie reheats nicely.