When I came across some ground venison at the local butcher shop, I knew I had to buy some and re-live my childhood just a bit. When I was a child, my dad would go hunting each year.
During Dad’s week away, my mom would spoil my brother and I. We got to watch more TV than usual and stay up late. I liked to stay up late and spend time with the family dog, Rocky (I needed an excuse to share this adorable picture I came across while cleaning this week!). We weren’t allowed to go out for walks after dark, so I would work on teaching him tricks, chasing each other around the living room, and snuggling (even when he got bigger, he still liked to snuggle. There were a few years where I’m pretty sure the dog was bigger than me).
Most years, Dad would come home with some tasty venison. I always tried my best not to imagine that what I was eating was once a cute deer. I still try not to think about it too much. The only things I recall my parents cooking with the venison were jerky (we had our own dehydrator) and chili. More recently, we make meatloaf.
Because it’s been a cold, rainy week around here, I decided that some comfort food was in order. And venison meatloaf hit the spot! But I did go a bit overboard. I made a double-batch of meatloaf. After 5 days of eating meatloaf, I took a few leftover pieces to some friends. The remaining slices have been put in the freezer for the coming weeks.
While I’ve since come up with my own recipe for venison meatloaf — no matter how it is spiced — it reminds me of my childhood.
Venison Meatloaf Topped with Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- 2 pounds ground venison – approximate cost $20.00
- 1 cup breadcrumbs – approximate cost $1.00
- 2 teaspoons sea salt – approximate cost $0.05
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar – approximate cost $0.10
- 1 teaspoon black pepper – approximate cost $0.10
- 3 teaspoons paprika – approximate cost $0.25
- 1/2 teaspoon allspice – approximate cost $0.10
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg – approximate cost $0.10
- 3 cloves garlic, minced – approximate cost $0.30
- 1 can diced tomatoes, drained – approximate cost $1.25
- 4 large eggs – approximate cost $1.20
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine the breadcrumbs, sea salt, cane sugar, black pepper, paprika, allspice, nutmeg, and garlic in a large mixing bowl.
- Add the ground venison, tomatoes, and eggs.
- Mix until well combined.
- Divide mixture into two.
- Form into two loaf shapes.
- Place into a loaf pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes (this is a great time to start preparing the horseradish mashed potatoes).
- Remove from oven.
- Top the meatloaves with the horseradish mashed potatoes.
- Return to oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes (or until cooked through).
- Broil for a few minutes so the potatoes are crispy and golden (Watch it closely though, they can burn quickly if you aren’t paying attention).
- Remove from oven.
- Allow to sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
Horseradish Mashed Potatoes
- 4 large potatoes – approximate cost $2.00
- 1/2 cup butter – approximate cost $1.00
- 2 tablespoons spicy horseradish – approximate cost $0.30
- Optional: Peel skin off of the potatoes (I left the skins on).
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Slice potatoes into bite-sized pieces.
- Boil potatoes until they can be easily pierced with a fork (approximately 15 minutes).
- Drain water.
- Combine potatoes, horseradish, and butter.
- Mash until well-combined.
Makes about 16 servings (approximate cost: $1.73 per serving).
Wednesday Link Parties
- Cast Party Wednesday (hosted by Lady Behind the Curtain)
- Fresh Foods Wednesday (hosted by Kristy from Gastronomical Sovereignty)
- Allergy Free Wednesdays (hosted by Gluten Free Pantry, Real Food Allergy Free, The Tasty Alternative, Tessa The Domestic Diva, The Willing Cook, Gluten Freely Frugal, and Whole New Mom
- Wednesday Whatsits (hosted by White Lights on Wednesday)
- Fluster’s Creative Muster Party (hosted by Fluster Buster)