Jachtschotel – Hunter’s Casserole

Jachtschotel, which translates as “hunter’s dish” is similar to what we call Shepherd’s Pie. in that it consists of layers of meat, potatoes and vegetables. What makes this Dutch hunter’s casserole different are the layers of finely sliced apples. This dish was traditionally made with leftover bits of venison after the end of the hunting season – hence the name – but our version uses easy-to-find beef.

Jachtschotel - Hunter's Casserole
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 100 g butter
  • 2 large onions, roughly chopped
  • 800 g stewing steak, cut into 2½ cm chunks (or beef mince)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 5 juniper berries
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 kg floury potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
  • 1 cup warm milk
  • 4 large sweet-sour apples, e.g. Granny Smith or Jonagold
  1. Grease an oven-safe casserole dish and set aside until later. Warm half the butter in a Dutch oven and sauté the onions for a few minutes until soft and glazed.
  2. Add the meat and brown on all sides. Now add the wine, spices and seasonings. Turn the heat down to medium low and cook for one hour with a tilted lid to allow some steam to escape, stirring occasionally. When done, remove the cloves, juniper berries and bay leaves.
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning, if required.
  4. In a large pot, boil the potatoes in plenty of water until soft (about 30 minutes). Drain, shake and dry with kitchen towels before mashing with a potato masher or ricer. Working quickly, add half of the remaining butter, milk and mustard, using the masher to combine. Season to taste.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Wash, core and finely slice the apples, reserving the prettiest slices for the top layer.
  6. Now start start layering the oven dish with mashed potato, stew and the apples. Start with a layer of mashed potato, followed by the meat and finish with a layer of the apple slices. There should be enough for at least two layers of each. Dot the remaining butter over the top. Place the oven dish on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.

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