This is a personal recipe I came up with to get some of the ground venison out of the freezer. Whenever I spend the weekend with some friends and family, this meal or our Salisbury Steak, is our go to “Drink Beers and Bake Dinner and feed 10 people” recipe. Rarely is there ever leftovers that last more than 24 hours. This is a great recipe when it’s too windy or cold to use the grill. This is also a great recipe for the men and women in your group who don’t care for the taste of game animals. You can hardly taste the Venison, but at the same time you can tell the meal has those extra vitamins and minerals the deer get from browsing the field.
If you hunt game deer in apple orchards with alfalfa and clover between the orchard rows surrounded by corn, like I prefer to hunt, I would use that batch of Venison!
Read the recipe and directions first. Prep ingredients and Reread.
2 pounds Ground Venison (Bison or Elk)
2 pounds of your favorite breakfast sausage(Original or Spicy) I prefer the Jimmy Dean brand. Avoid the cheap “Gray Pork” service grade sausages. And I avoid the Sage flavor for meatloaf, but it tastes just fine.
Plain Breadcrumbs (Plain NOT Italian)
2 Packets of McCormick Meatloaf Seasoning
2 Cups 2% milk
2 Eggs (Large) If you use powdered eggs, don’t forget to mix them with water first.
2 packets of Pork gravy or 2 packets of Chicken Gravy (or more if you make mashed potatoes)
A little Salt and Pepper to taste.
Some freshly chopped green onions or regular table onion (Sliced thin).
Mix Ground Venison, Pork Sausage, 2 Flavor Seasoning Packets, 2 Eggs, Two Cups of Milk, and Two Cups of Bread Crumbs together gently in a mixing bowl. Scramble your eggs first, and you should consider mechanically mixing the ingredients to make the mixing process easier. Like scrambling your eggs and chopping your tube of sausage into slammer pieces instead of trying to mix a block of Venison with a tube of Pork Sausage. If the mix appears a bit dry, add some more milk as needed.
This takes a little while to mix properly.
If you mix it using the KitchenAid you will end up with a Venison-Pork Paste. You don’t want that, but it still cooks up just fine. Although the texture is a little thick if you use a mixer, I recommend the gentle folds during mixing. It makes for a better dish in my opinion.
Once you have your ingredients mixed up together, gently form the mix into a loaf and place it in the center of a cooking pan. Sprinkle the meatloaf seasoning mix and bread crumbs over your ingredients to promote proper mixing. Cover the top of the loaf in 1/4 inch of breadcrumbs (Not Ketchup!). And add a 1/4 cup, or so, of water to the baking pan. This will create a nice oven sauna and prevent the skin from drying out too much. If you use a pan and the meatloaf fits neatly in the entire thing, you should not have to worry about spill over.
This recipe doesn’t make much of its own gravy. Most of the fats get absorbed by the bread crumbs and Venison!
Cook the loaf at 350 degrees for about 1 hour. It is a 4 lb loaf just counting the meats. So it takes a bit to cook depending on the size and shape of your loaf. Your cooking time can also depend on the temp of your meats, eggs, and milk when mixed together and placed into the oven. I like to form up my loaf so that it will slice nicely for sandwiches. Make sure to use a cooking thermometer to check the temp.
I cannot predict how tall or wide your loaf is, but I do recommend the sandwich size dimensions, and cooking at different altitudes can change the baking times. Keep an eye on your loaf and you will be alright. It’s a meatloaf, so it’s worth the extra attention! When it’s bubbling and steaming all over, it’s time to check the temp.
Mix up your Chicken or Pork Gravy mix in a sauce pan when the Loaf is done cooking and resting on the counter. I think the Chicken or Pork gravy makes a nice, salty flavorful addition to the Meatloaf. Beef Gravy works just fine, but hides the flavor of the pork and Venison in my opinion. Drop the onions in right as the sauce is finished cooking. The heat opens up the onions, but the short cooking process maintains that fresh flavor and texture true to the original. Usually I just put fresh thinly sliced onion on my Meatloaf like it’s an open-face burger.
I like to make Green Bean Casserole, a Garden Salad, and bake some seasoned Steak Fries with my Meatloaf. Peas and Mash are always a good choice too! Oven baked Baby Reds with a little rosemary, salt, and olive oil works great too! Gentle on the Olive Oil. You can easily use too much.
Enjoy! This is a great Friday night or Sunday meal because you’ll have plenty of leftovers.
They are, quite frankly, absolutely delicious.
Chill your leftovers and make a proper cold meatloaf sandwich (Called “The Worker” at most deli’s in my area) Toasted Sourdough or Rye with cold meatloaf makes the best meatloaf sandwich. Decorate with some mayo and a generous LTOP(Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Pickle). You can also pan fry your leftovers in a cast iron pan with a little butter and bring an entrée style lunch to work. Since you already have the oven warmed up, maybe you should bake up some Sourdough or Rye?
Thanks for reading!