Elk Meat Loaf
Do you ever watch TV and see something that inspires a meal? More often than not it's something on the Food Network that will make something click. The Wife and I were watching "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and Guy was interviewing someone who had meatloaf as a specialty.
That made The Wife's ears perk up "I want meat loaf" she said -and I filed that away in the future brownie points department.
I woke up earlier than she did Saturday morning and set out a two pound pack of ground elk that The Father-in-Law sent us from a hunting trip in Missouri.
Before we go any further, I should tell you I've never made meat loaf before. This is my first attempt, but to paraphrase a bad comedy routine "I've seen it done on TV".
Like so many other southern recipes, meat loaf was a meal meant to stretch a dollar. Throw in some veggies, and add breadcrumbs and all of a sudden ground beef goes a lot farther. So I figured it shouldn't be possible to mess this up. That's the beauty of meat loaf - it's easily adaptable. And you can use any meat - or any combination of meats.
I wanted to keep it basic, so I went with what we had in the fridge - namely onions, carrots and garlic - as my vegetables. I was thinking what vegetables and herbs go well with meat, and I thought of what I would put in a pot roast - carrots, onions, garlic, rosemary... It made sense in my head so I went with it.
The meat loaf is lightly seasoned initially, because it will be sliced, seared and seasoned later. If you want to serve straight from the oven, use more seasoning up front.
3 Slices of Bread
2 Lbs. Ground Elk
1 Cup Carrots (I say cup, because I used baby carrots, two handfuls to be exact)
8 Cloves of Garlic
1 tsp Rosemary
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
1/8 cup Worcestershire Sauce
3 Eggs, Beaten
Preheat your oven to 350.
In a food processor, put your bread slices and run until they're the consistency of breadcrumbs. Place on a sheet pan and toast, while your oven is coming to temperature - about 5-10 minutes (it will take longer because your oven is cold).
Put your carrots, onion and garlic in the food processor and run until they are a very small mince - or until they stop getting smaller.
In a large bowl, combine you elk, garlic, onions, carrots and bread crumbs.
Stir in your rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Add your Worcestershire and beaten eggs, and mix with your hands to get an even consistency.
Shape into a loaf, and drizzle with honey.
Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.
You'll be tempted to slice it and eat it when you pull it out of the oven, but patience will pay off - it's bland right now because of the light seasoning.
Let the meatloaf cool on your counter before putting into the fridge. When it has just reached room temperature, place it into the fridge until it has cooled completely and you are ready to serve.
Thickly slice the meatloaf season each side with salt and pepper.
Pan sear it for 5 minutes on each side over medium heat in a little butter - Enjoy!
I served this with a pan seared green beans and sweet potato mash.