Venison Meatloaf

I mentioned earlier this week that we’d been gifted with some beautiful venison over the weekend.  Now, when I was younger, I disliked deer meat – the time or two I’d had it, it had a nasty, wild, gamey flavor.  It may just be that my palate has matured, but I suspect now that the animals had been poorly field-dressed and processed; these days, the venison I eat is provided by experienced hunters who not only know how to expertly field-dress their kill, but butcher it as well.

And it is delicious.

Part of the lovely package of venison we received was ground, and there was no question what I’d make with it, since I live with two meatloaf fiends.  I was going to just serve it plain until I saw this recipe from my friend Alex Boake for Kirby’s Maxim Tomato and Apple Ketchup.  Oh. My. Goodness.  I am going to make four thousand pints of this stuff and stash them away in my basement, it is THAT good.

Alex used fresh tomatoes for hers, but since I have more tomato sauce than I really know what to do with after the Month of Mad Canning, I used that; she also calls for Macintosh apples, but since I am still awash in Fujis that’s what I used.  Other than that, I pretty much made this as written, and I just can’t get over how delicious it was, and how well it complimented the venison.

We didn’t use all of the Kirby Ketchup on the meatloaf, but that’s okay because Beloved has been putting it on everything else he eats.

Note:  Because venison is so lean, the meatloaf mixture is really moist and will spread some when you put in the pan to form a loaf, but I wouldn’t try to put it in a loaf pan because it’s going to give off a lot of that moisture while it cooks, which I drained off about halfway through the cooking time and again at the end. Of course, you can use ground beef if you don’t have venison, but it will be higher in calories.

Venison Meatloaf
Venison Meatloaf
Venison Meatloaf

Serves: 8
  • Meatloaf:
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, shredded
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds ground venison
  • 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Sauce:
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 2 small apples, peeled and shredded
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 1 small sweet onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients for the meatloaf together in a large bowl; the mixture will be wet and loose. Gently form a loaf shape in a 7″ x 11″ glass baking dish (it will spread slightly). Bake for 60 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 F. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
  3. While the meatloaf is in the oven, combine all of the sauce ingredients except the olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, or until the apples and onions have cooked down.
  4. Remove from the heat and allow to cool briefly. Transfer to a food processor, or using an immersion blender, process until smooth. Add the olive oil and blend again. Serve over the sliced meatloaf.
  5. Nutrition (per serving): 246 calories, 7g total fat, 66.9mg cholesterol, 3687.3mg sodium, 697.7mg potassium, 18.8g carbohydrates, 4.1g fiber, 11.7g sugar, 29.5g protein


12 thoughts on “Venison Meatloaf”

    1. I gotta thank you for re-categorizing this as ketchup. I’m ALL about alliteration, so I don’t even know why Kirby Ketchup didn’t come to me!
      This is likely because I never really did use ketchup, even ‘before’. Now I have typed ketchup so many times that it doesn’t look like a real word anymore.

      Glad you guys like it!!! : D

      1. Or is it Catsup???

        Reminds me of the Fox Force Five pilot joke:

        “Three tomatoes are walking down the street- a poppa tomato, a momma tomato, and a little baby tomato. Baby tomato starts lagging behind. Poppa tomato gets angry, goes over to the baby tomato, and smooshes him… and says, Catch up.”

  1. I haven’t had venison since I was a kid.
    I did like it at the time, but my dad’s friend was the hunter and I’m quite sure he know what the best way was to prep it. Now, however, I picture Deer Crossing signs and Bambi when I think of venison. I’m blaming Be.
    : )

  2. The hubby isn’t a fan of venison or meatloaf – I’m so tempted to make this just to mess with him. Because I think it sounds good!! Besides, maybe then he’d be a convert on both counts. 😉

  3. Fabulous meatloaf, substituted chili powder for paprika and left out the apples in the sauce. Turned out sweet and tasty and better than I expected – highly recommend and will most definitely make great use of my venison burger with this recipe again.

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