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.

Venison Meatloaf:

Here is the LIVE YouTube video on how to make it:


Here is what it’ll look like when you’re done!

Venison Meatloaf

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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Venison Meatloaf

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr


  • 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


Georgia Pellegrini

Growing up on her family’s farm in upstate New York, Georgia developed a passion for simple farm-to table food and a deep connection to the outdoors. Having worked in the finance world after college, she decided to leave her cubicle and reconnect with her roots. After graduating from the French Culinary Institute, she began working in Michelin restaurants in New York and France, and soon started leading her renowned Adventure Getaways: excursions around the country aimed at promoting “manual literacy” and helping participants step outside of their comfort zone and experience life more viscerally. Georgia is a firm believer in empowering people to be self-sufficient, identify personal strengths and pursue their life passions.