In most dishes we prefer lean ground venison, but there are a few things that really need some fat....burgers & meatloaf are two examples. The added fat helps the dish to bind together, and using bacon for that fat adds to the flavor!
3 lbs ground venison
12-16 oz package bacon (frozen), ground fine (or dice finely, or use food processor)
meduim onion, diced
medium carrot, grated finely
dehydrated diced bell peppers, 1/8 cup
garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon
onion powder, 1/4 teaspoon
liquid smoke, 1/4 teaspoon
Worcestershire sauce, 1 Tablespoon
ketchup, 1/4 cup (plus some for the top at the end of baking)
water, 1/3 cup
quick oats (dry), 1/2 cup
Step 1: Grind the Bacon
Working with the bacon while still frozen is much easier. Cut across the strips of bacon, then feed into food grinder or processor. (It's possible to dice the frozen bacon up with a knife, but you will have a less uniform mixture of bacon & venison.) I used the finest blade on my grinder.
Step 2: Adding the Venison
The easiest way to thoroughly mix the ground bacon & ground venison is to run them through the grinder again....alternating a handful of venison, handful of ground bacon, handful of venison....etc.
Then set the meat aside while you get the other ingredients ready.
Step 3: Veggies......shhhh, Don't Tell the Kids!
I just used diced onion & finely grated carrot....but, there are others you could use....cauliflower, summer squash, turnip, whatever you think you can get away with. (Keep in mind that 'green veggies' will be harder to 'hide'.)
A bit of veggies helps keep meatloaf nice & moist!
Step 4: Spice It Up!
In a small bowl, blend together the water, spices & flavorings, and the egg....and beat it well.
Step 5: Fiber!
Oatmeal is great to add to meatloaf, it helps bind the loaf together (so it isn't 'crumbly').....and its good for you! And it 'hides' in meatloaf really well....'oatmeal haters' will never know its there!
Add the oatmeal to the small bowl of seasonings, etc and stir well.
Step 6: Mixing It All Up....getting Ready to Bake
Combine the veggies, the flavorings/egg/oatmeal mixture & the ground meat together.....mix them together well!
Lightly spray a loaf pan with oil, put in the meat mixture, smooth the top....and its ready for the oven.
Step 7: 350F....for About an Hour
Bake it in a (preheated) 350F oven for about an hour, the meatloaf had just started pulling away from the sides of the pan.
Cover the top with ketchup (or BBQ sauce) during the last 10 - 15 minutes.
I always use a meat thermometer...especially when cooking pork & chicken. Since this dish contains pork, you want the internal temperature to come up to 170F.
Step 8: Ready for Dinner!
It's best if you pull the meatloaf out of the oven & let it 'rest' for about 10 minutes before slicing. (This is true of any meat that you cook in an oven.)
I hope you enjoy this recipe (which is my own), and if you 'tweak it a little' to suit your tastes, I'd love to hear what changes you made!