My grandmother Frances Pellegrini was a home cook extraordinaire. Whenever she invited me to dinner growing up, I always requested her meatloaf. This is her recipe, taken from a family recipe book, as best as it can be put into words. She never was one to take measurements; it was always about whim and intuition. And there was something in her kitchen air that made this meatloaf turn out a special way that I have never been able to duplicate. This recipe uses venison, in this case axis venison, which is very lean, a little sweet, and a very beautiful color. So here my friends, is venison meatloaf for you to try. It will work so well with different types of ground meat, and will become a new favorite family recipe, I’m sure of it.
Another favorite trick that my grandmother always taught me was that if you were rushing home from a busy day and had guests coming for dinner, you should sauté some onions in a pan and it will smell like you have been cooking all day. I just loved her life hacks.
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- 1 carrot
- 1 large onion
- 1 celery stalk
- 2 cups button mushrooms (one standard package) 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 1/2 pounds ground axis venison
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons Marsala
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/3 cup tomato puree
- 1/2 cup parsley
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Blend the carrot, onion, celery and mushrooms in a food processor until fine but not pureed.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and saute? the mixture until softened, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt along the way to help release the juices.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables with the rest of the ingredients.
- Form the mixture into a loaf and place in a baking dish. You could also use a loaf pan. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake for 30 minutes more. Let cool slightly, then cut into thick slices and serve.
Also try: other antlered game, turkey