HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >

Venison Meatloaf

m
mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 05:40 AM

I'm new to eating and cooking venison. We have lots in our freezer. Any good recipes for ground venison? I'd like to try doing a meatloaf tonite for dinner. Tips are appreciated on cooking the meatloaf, I found one recipe that called for 350 for 70 mins. this seems long to me, I don't want it to be tough and overcooked! Our butcher packed the venison in way too many steaks and ground meat, IMO. He did not label the steak cuts, either, like shoulder or rump. Sadly, no roasts.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. h
    Harters RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 06:30 AM

    Not familiar with cooking times but don't forget venison is going to be much leaner than beef. You may want to include something with a bit of fat (bacon?)

    1. j
      j8715 RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 06:33 AM

      yeah many places grind up everything that isn't a steak. Steak cuts could be either from the back legs (looks just like leg of lamb steaks but dark dark red). Back strap is a popular steak as well.

      Is the meat mixed with anything? If it isn't I suggest looking at recipes for chicken or turkey meatloaf to get an idea of how many eggs and how much bread to get it to hold together.

      If it has pork or chuck mixed in (many butchers do this for you) it can be treated like any other meatloaf.

      I recommend seasoning kind of lightly and if you do it at all put a very thin glaze. Garlic and Worcestershire sauce are great with venison. Rosemary isn't bad either but go easy. Many a folk suggest juniper with game but I haven't tried it personally.

      1. m
        morwen RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 07:06 AM

        We stopped sending our deer out to be processed and started doing it ourselves because even though we filled out forms to have it cut the way we wanted it, it never came back that way. And it really P'd me off to have the back straps come back in chunks or slices (or not at all in one instance) instead of whole as I specified.

        I sometimes mix a little ground pork into the venison when making meatloaf to help with the moisture issue. When I don't, I lay strips of bacon over the top of it before putting it in the oven. In either one I dip a couple of slices of bread in milk, squeeze them out, and then tear them up and mix in. One large egg per pound of meat and the same add-ins I use for beef meatloaf: chopped onion and green pepper, ketchup, a spoonful of prepared mustard, dash of worcestershire sauce, couple of generous pinches of dried mixed herbs, s&p. Into the oven at 375F for about 45 minutes for a roughly pound size loaf, maybe an hour for a larger one.

        I save the juniper berries and rosemary for roasts which, sadly, you didn't get.

        I'd also check in to getting another processor or learning to do it yourself. Processing a deer isn't difficult. It's a little time consuming the first time but as with anything, you get more adept with practice. I can get a skinned deer into the freezer on my own in 2 hours now using a knife and a hacksaw when I need to saw through bones. The other advantage to doing your own is you have the bones and scrap to cook down into stock.

        This is a great book to have if you decide to do your own processing: http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Butche...

        2 Replies
        1. re: morwen
          m
          mrsgreer RE: morwen Feb 23, 2011 07:24 AM

          Thanks for your ideas! I actually cut a deer for a family member for the first time last season...I have the book "Gut it, Cut it, and Cook It". It took me about 5 hours. My experience working at a butcher when I was fresh out of HS was helpful as well. My payment was the backstrap, and a couple roasts. We did not have any ground.

          This year, I just didn't have the time to do my husband's deer. After this experience, I will make the extra effort. I guess not all butchers think of cooks who want more variety from their meats. And I know what you mean, I was really aggravated too that this guy cut the backstraps into 5" sections. When I defrosted the package, I was like WTF? It was packaged whole, I thought it was one. If they were separate, I could have at least used them for more than one meal. Lesson learned!!

          I'll try the bacon on top since I don't have any ground pork right now!

          1. re: mrsgreer
            s
            Spot RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 07:47 AM

            Slightly off-topic but you hit on the reason that I always now butcher and wrap my own game. It's so nice to know exactly what's in all of those packages before you thaw them. Not to mention you don't need to deal with the butcher wondering exactly why you want the shanks sliced and the entire neck for a roast....

        2. cayjohan RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 10:09 AM

          I've had great luck with incorporating vegetables into the ground venison mixture. I like the leanness of ground venison (I'm not fat-averse at all, but I find mixing, say, pork fat, into the ground venison makes it taste rather more like pork than venison, and I truly like the venison flavor), and when using it tend to want to preserve the leanness. I've been using chopped cooked beets a lot lately, along with panade, some cooked potato, other veg I have that can be finely chopped. Just recently, it was coarsely pureed kimchi (a winner, in my opinion).

          The trick is really not to overcook it. morwen's suggestion of about 45 minutes sounds about right, although I usually go 325ยบ.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cayjohan
            visciole RE: cayjohan Feb 23, 2011 06:22 PM

            +1 I also like the lean quality, & dislike adding other meats. I usually add onions, carrots, celery, a bit of homemade tomato sauce, and some bread soaked in wine to lighten it up. But I love the kimchi idea, I'm going to give that a try next time!

            BTW try making Marcella Hazan's polpettine recipe with vension. Mmmmmm.

            1. re: cayjohan
              s
              sccrash RE: cayjohan Mar 22, 2011 04:30 PM

              I favor many of the same additions as cayjohan and viscole; to me, the taste of venison is too good to lose out on. Can't wait to try kimchi and beets!

              I usually add fresh spinach- it contributes moisture, flavor, and really dresses up each slice.

              I also add gelatin, and loosely follow the CI recipe for All Beef Glazed Meat Loaf: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip... IMHO, the gelatin really does make a difference. I add half a packet instead of half a teaspoon.

              Good luck- I hope you love venison as much as we do!

              1. re: sccrash
                g
                goatgolfer RE: sccrash Apr 6, 2011 02:18 PM

                I just deleted the repeat show and tried 1/2 packet of gelatin in a 500 g ground venison meatloaf ( egg + bread crumbs + gelatin) no panade and didn't get there. Can you remind us of the basic CI proportions in case I got it wrong.

                (as I was writing this I think the no panade was a big boo boo) but can you still remind us of the proportions that may apply to a non-sticky ground venison loaf??

            2. Veggo RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 10:58 AM

              Consider venison chili, also. It makes for the best chili I have ever had.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Veggo
                cayjohan RE: Veggo Feb 23, 2011 12:28 PM

                That's what I use my venison round steak for. Great flavor!

              2. mamachef RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 11:12 AM

                I've had great good luck using 2 lbs. venison to two eggs, 3/4 c. soft breadcrumbs, salt and pepper, and the following pre-sauteed add-ins: diced onion or shallot, and bell pepper, minced garlic, and a v. small amount of finely minced celery. Let cool before adding to above mixture; season all with salt, pepper, worcestershire, and a spot of dry mustard. Maybe a dash of marjoram or thyme. The kicker is to lard it with good fatty bacon strips, laid on after you've made a glaze of equal parts port, cranberry sauce, and a quarter part ketchup. You can also add cranberry sauce to the loaf itself, as part of the veg. mix-ins. Great stuff. Double wow served with sour cream mashed potatoes and something really green (Edit) Oh, and for temp and time, for this one, 325 for the first hour and fifteen, then HOT oven for as long as it takes the bacon to crisp up, and it won't take long..

                3 Replies
                1. re: mamachef
                  cayjohan RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2011 12:34 PM

                  Cranberry. Dang. We love cranberry sauces with the venison, but never thought about putting it IN the mix! But now I am!

                  Do you broil at the end for the bacon so you don't cook the mince mix too long?

                  1. re: cayjohan
                    mamachef RE: cayjohan Feb 23, 2011 12:43 PM

                    You've got it exactly, cayjohan. Any more and it will dry out, despite the larding.
                    (For a great variation, you can add re-hydrated minced dried apricots instead; season with garlic, cumin, coriander, ginger, cardamom, a little cinnamon and clove - glaze with apricot jam mixed with a tot of horseradish and mustard....AWESOME foil for the slight gaminess of the deer..)

                    1. re: mamachef
                      cayjohan RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2011 01:03 PM

                      Apricots. Dang, again. I've been so busy saucing my various ground venison concoctions that I haven't been thinking more about the "sauce ingredients" that could go INTO the mix and have shamefully overlooked the fruit category (excepting dried currants in ground ven/rice croquettes). Great idea!

                2. Passadumkeg RE: mrsgreer Feb 23, 2011 11:16 AM

                  I mix Italian sausage for fat and flavor. Butchering is not difficult. Make jerkey from scraps.
                  Veg. is correct about making chile.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Passadumkeg
                    mamachef RE: Passadumkeg Feb 23, 2011 12:44 PM

                    I would really love to have a good jerky recipe, either for venison or beef. Or anything else, for that matter. If you please, sir. ; )

                    1. re: mamachef
                      s
                      Susan627 RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2011 04:48 PM

                      I have used this recipe of Alton Brown's so many times I can't count! When it comes to the cooking, I put it on cake racks, over cookie sheets, and put it on my oven's lowest setting for about 4 hours, rotating the pans halfway. I do not crack the oven door. I also marinate over night.

                      http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/al...

                      1. re: mamachef
                        Passadumkeg RE: mamachef Feb 23, 2011 04:57 PM

                        Recipe? I take scraps, pound 'em thin and hang them by wires in a cool dry place. in Maine, the attic of my garage, NM, in the garage. Cover loosely w/ cheese cloth if flies are still about. It is usually in November, during deer/elk season, when I make it. Store in a burlap sack.

                        Dum Keg the Barbarian

                    Show Hidden Posts