So, continuing this ‘comfort food’ series, today I will reveal the secret to a really good meatloaf… venison! Yup, from right here on Long Island. Fresh deer meat mixed with ground beef to make a lean loaf that’s good for your health.
Here’s what you will need:
- 1 lb ground venison
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 3 rashers of bacon diced
- 1 medium onion coarsely grated
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 2 cups of fresh bread crumbs
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 3 juniper berries crushed
- 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon bits, then drain on a paper towel and toss into a large mixing bowl.
Add the venison, beef, onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, thyme, juniper, vinegar, egg and mix this all together with your hands. Yup, have to do it with your own two un-gloved hands. Make that connection with your creation.
Now, just because I use thyme and juniper, doesn’t mean that you have to. The thing that makes meatloaf a real comfort food is that it is made from whatever makes YOU feel good. If you want to use oregano, mushrooms, and A1 sauce, go right ahead. Meatloaf is as personalized as fingerprints (another good reason for making your fingers a part of the process).
Spoon the mixture on to a foil covered baking sheet and shape it into a loaf shape. Bake in the oven about an hour and fifteen, then take it out and left it rest about five minutes before cutting and serving and challenging your guests to guess what ingredients YOU used… trust me, this last part makes for interesting conversation if you are an unconventional cook.