Here are some different ground venison recipes to try this year.
If you're like me, you probably end up with a lot of ground venison at the end of deer season. It's not hard to see why most people do this because it's the most versatile way to use deer meat. From venison burgers to tacos, you've likely seen a lot of ground venison recipes out there.
Which is why we went searching for something a little different than the usual venison sausage or venison chili recipe.
These wild game dishes will show you some totally new ways to make use of ground meat this hunting season.
Venison Taco Breadsticks
This is an interesting one we found on the Legendary Whitetails YouTube channel. I can't say I've seen this one before now. We love the simplicity of it; all you need is a pound of ground venison, some taco seasoning, an onion, pizza dough and shredded Colby jack cheese.
Mix up the ground venison with the diced onions and then cut out your breadstick shapes with the pizza dough. Add the onion/venison mixture and some cheese and then pinch them closed almost like a taco shell and brush with butter.
Prep time is quick. Bake until the "breadsticks" are a golden brown. It shouldn't take more than about 10 minutes. Then, add more cheese to the top and melt that in about five minutes of cook time in the oven and they're ready to serve. This is an unusual one, but we're betting your hunting buddies haven't seen you pull this trick before!
We're big fans of the MeatEater series with Steve Rinella. Not many hunting shows show kind of respect Rinella does, and even fewer show the full process of the hunt, including the dressing and skinning that has to take place before you ever cook anything.
But Steve takes it a step further by also showing you how to prep your wild game.
Here he shows how to make an Italian Bolognese sauce to go with pasta. This recipe calls for a mixture of both venison and ground beef or pork. As he notes, if you take your animal to a processor, they'll usually include this extra meat for you. Mine here in Michigan generally uses pork.
Ingredients include tomato paste, wine and milk. This recipe also calls for some veggies like celery, onions and carrots. Sauté the onions first, before adding the other veggies and a little garlic before mixing in the tomato paste. Then mix the Bolognese mixture in with your ground meat mixture. Add some milk and cook on low heat.
This is a bit of a time-consuming recipe. He recommends a couple hours. Also make sure the sauce isn't getting too thick. You can thin it down with water if you must. Once the sauce is ready, mix and cook with the pasta and serve.
Venison Tater Tot Casserole
Here's another unusual one I just happened to stumble upon on YouTube. All you're doing is mixing some ground venison with onions and chopped green peppers. Cook that up and then add milk and mushroom soup mix. Stir it and then add the tater tots on top.
Bake that for 30 minutes and then melt a layer of cheddar cheese over the top and you're ready to serve. There is also a variation of this that uses frozen peas. There is probably a bit more experimenting that can be done with this dish for people looking to try it.
Venison Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
This one comes from our sister site Wide Open Eats. You might want to add ground beef or pork to your ground venison. Because in my experience, venison is so lean that the meatballs tend to fall apart. Mix up the ground venison/beef/pork with some of the usual seasonings like salt, pepper and sage. Add some breadcrumbs and form your meatballs.
Bake the meatballs on a sheet at 350 degrees for roughly 15 minutes. In the meantime, you can prepare the sauce by first cooking garlic in olive oil and then adding some minced basil and tomato paste. Let this simmer and then cover the meatballs.
I love venison meatballs, but my mom does a variation off this where she slow cooks the meatballs in a slow cooker crock pot and a sauce made of ketchup and barbecue sauce to make BBQ meatballs. It works surprisingly well with venison even though it takes a little longer than the Italian style we outlined above. Don't be afraid to experiment, these meatballs work well on a sandwich too.
This type of venison dish is out there, but it doesn't get talked about nearly enough in our eyes. We like the one demonstrated above by Hannah McCauley on Cabela's Cooking. Mix in onions, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, oats and egg. Add your ground venison and mix it all together and place into a dish and add three teaspoons of salt and some black pepper.
The sauce she makes in this video is a mixture of ketchup, dijon mustard, brown sugar and Worcestershire sauce. But feel free to use your favorite meatloaf sauce. Cover the meatloaf in sauce and cook in an oven at 350 degrees and serve.