Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Venison Version Project: Meatloaf take 1

I've been doing a lot more cooking lately than I used to when Joey was here, but most of my cooking has been with chicken and fish as that is what I have the most experience cooking with. I was never much a fan of beef and don't even buy it these days. Our only red meat consumption is venison. Joey's father likes to hunt and they never eats as much as he kills, so they give us some of their extra venison. But I'm a chicken. I'm so afraid of trying recipes with the venison and epically failing and wasting the venison that I tend not to try. The only things I've cooked with venison so far have been burgers and hamburger helper and taco meat.

Well, no one ever learned anything from chickening out and I've really been craving meatloaf, so first up on the venison version project is meatloaf. I've actually been craving meatloaf since before Joey left for basic, so for almost 5 weeks now. And I found this really neat meatloaf idea -- to make it in a muffin pan, thereby reducing the amount of time it takes to cook the meatloaf and producing single serving portions of meatloaf that can be easily frozen and reheated. My mom has never used breadcrumbs or cracker crumbs in her meatloaf, so after fruitlessly searching for a meatloaf recipe that does not call for either, I finally called her and got her recipe. Its not very technical.

1 to 1.5 lbs beef (I'm using venison)
ketchup (enough -- I used about 4 squirts)
mustard (1/2 of enough -- I used about 2 squirts)
chopped onion (3-4 slices chopped finely)
worstershire sauce (4-5 shakes)

(1) Preheat oven to 350 F.
(2) Mix all ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix.
(3) Spray muffin pan.
(4) Press lightly into muffin tins.
(5) Bake for 40 minutes or until meatloafs have internal temp of at least 160 farenheit and begin pulling away from the sides.
(6) Ketchup on top.
(7) Bake for 10 minutes.

While its baking for the initial 40 minutes, that gives you plenty of time to make mashed potatoes (I make mine with milk, butter and sour cream), steam some carrots and if you want to make croissants with your meal, when you pull the meatloaves out to put ketchup on top, change oven temp to 375 degrees farenheit and when its preheated (it doesn't take long to preheat 25 degrees -- by the time you roll the croissants and put ketchup on the meatloaves, it should be ready), you put the croissants and meatloaves in the oven for 11 minutes then they are both done at the same time.

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