Friday, May 21, 2010

Not Yo Mama's Meatloaf

My manual-defrost freezer generally only gets defrosted about once a year and there are always surprise things I had forgotten I had. A box of venison was discovered in this go-round, buried amidst the clutter. One of the items in the box was a pound of venison I had ground before freezing. (The other ground venison was apparently used in the venison sausage I made.)

I searched the ‘net for ground venison recipes and didn’t find any that quite suited me, so this is an original cobbled-together recipe, more-or-less. After all, how original can a meatloaf recipe be? No catsup on top of this one… and it is small because there's just me to feed.

I got to use my Christmas gift hand spice grinder for the first time. I wasn’t impressed with how it ground whole round spices like juniper berries and whole allspice because it couldn’t seem to get a grip on them, but I think it would be just fine for cracked or irregular-shaped spices.

I used a dollop of rum my sister had, which I mixed with a little blackberry jelly, although I would have preferred a sherry or ruby port. In place of the saltines my mother always added, I used organic coconut flour.

Ground Venison Meatloaf as made
2 tablespoons coconut oil (organic if possible)

1 large onion minced (in my mini-chopper
1 pound ground venison

½ pound pastured ground pork

½ cup organic coconut or almond flour

½ tsp salt (I always add mine when serving, not mixed in)

¾ tsp rubbed sage

¼ tsp freshly ground allspice

¼ tsp freshly ground juniper berries

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

2 Tbs blackberry Jelly mixed with 2 tablespoons rum

1 large egg

Sliced uncured, smoked bacon strips for topping

Preheat oven to 325ºF.

Sauté the minced onion in the coconut oil over medium-low heat until translucent and just starting to lightly brown. While it is cooling, mix the other ingredients in a large bowl, add the onions, and mix in the egg last. If it seems too moist, add a bit more flour. If too dry, add a bit of cream or milk.

Bake at 325ºF for 45 minutes to an hour (depending on pan shape and thickness of loaf), until it is thoroughly cooked.

You win some, you lose some, LOL. No point in posting only successful recipes, lest someone think I am an excellent cook!

The taste is too fruity, so half the blackberry jelly would have been just right, and the rum added no flavor. The coconut flour didn’t hold it together (I didn’t really think it would, but I was looking for a replacement for crushed saltines), so a second egg? In fact, I’d omit the coconut flour all together and rely on eggs to bind it together, if they would? (I really have no idea because I've never deviated far from my mother's recipe.) The coconut flour added a very fine-grit texture on my tongue which I didn’t much care for…

Later: After eating a couple more slices, I think what it also needs is a sauce that’s tart/spicy/tangy to offset the sweetness of the fruit flavor, making it more of a sweet and sour meatloaf. Maybe a piquant ginger sauce?

Other than that, the taste is quite interesting, but definitely NOT my mother’s meatloaf!

ps: my fur babies loved their little ‘taste’…

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