It’s bow season across Michigan and I’m willing to bet if you don’t hunt, you probably know someone that does! My husband is an avid hunter and also teaches youth hunters safety for the City of Petoskey. It amazes me how many kids sign up for the class every year. It makes me happy to see! Hopefully next year our son will be old enough to take part in the hunters safety class as well as the youth hunt that happens every year. That being said, venison is something we eat year round in our home and we always seem to have a package on hand in the freezer. Not only does it save us money not buying beef at the store but venison is also super lean and healthy for you.
I grew up on a farm and my dad also hunted various game throughout the year. He even bought a home in Montana because he loved elk hunting so much. Venison was also a staple in my home growing up. Every year my husband gets 2-3 deer and takes it for processing at the Walloon General Store. When we place our order, we try to mix it up a bit and get a little bit of everything including burger, snack sticks and breakfast sausage. Venison burger is a huge chunk of our order. I use it just like you would use regular ground beef in tacos, chili, spaghetti sauce and more.
Today on the blog I’m bringing you a venison meatloaf recipe. Just like ground beef venison is extremely is extremely versatile. I also like making homemade recipes because sometimes my kids will complain if they know it’s venison but seasoning and spices tends to cut the ‘gamey’ taste. I like gamey but I understand if someone doesn’t. You can also easy substitute ground beef in this recipe as well if you prefer.
Venison Meatloaf Ingredients
1 lb venison burger
1 large egg
1/2 C. breadcrumbs (if I am out of breadcrumbs I substitute crushed Ritz or Saltine crackers)
splash of milk
1/4 tsp. thyme
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
salt & pepper to taste
ketchup (meatloaf topping)
1 lb redskin or Idaho potatoes
1/2 C. sour cream
1 stick of butter (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a 12 count muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
Combine all the ground venison with the egg, breadcrumbs, milk, thyme, garlic powder and salt & pepper. Knead the venison mixture with your hands if needed.
Scoop the venison meatloaf mixture into each muffin well. You a spoon to gently press down into a muffin shape.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the meatloaf muffins are cooked through.
While the meatloaf is baking scrub the potatoes clean (leave the skin on) and place in a large pot of water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat once the potatoes are forkable.
Drain the potatoes, add sour cream and butter and mash. I like to use my hand mixer to get them nice and creamy.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add ketchup and a large dollop of mashed potatoes to the top of each meatloaf muffin.
*Makes approximately 12 venison mini meatloaves