Mike's Wild Game Meatloaf

Recipe from Use the Compass / @use_the_compass
and Epic Adventure Guides / @epic.adventure.guides

"This was my dad's go-to recipe for meatloaf that always included venison we'd harvested during our hunting trips. He taught me to cook by intuition rather than a recipe, and that the key to success is to pause during the prep stage and taste the mixture as you go, to ensure the seasoning is perfect every time." - Mike

For the Meatloaf

1 lb ground venison

1 lb ground bison

1 16oz package uncured bacon (bonus if you can find jalapeno-flavored!)

1 medium sweet onion

1/2 green or yellow bell pepper

2 eggs

1 12oz can low-sodium tomato sauce

1 8oz can tomato paste

1 1/2 cups panko bread crumbs

4 cloves garlic

2 tsp pink Himalayan sea salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

2 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

1 tsp oregano

2 bay leaves, crushed

1 tbsp safflower oil

1 tsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp Lea & Perrins Worcestershire


For the Basting Sauce

2/3 cup ketchup

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 tsp Lea & Perrins

1 tbsp yellow mustard


Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Chop onion and bell pepper in a food processor.
  3. Combine all ingredients for meatloaf in a large mixing bowl, mixing thoroughly with hands.
  4. Season to taste by microwaving a small ball of mixture, taste test, and adjusting the seasonings to your liking.
  5. Press mixture into a loaf pan, covering the top by laying bacon strips over the loaf (you can basket-weave if you're an overachiever).
  6. Combine basting sauce ingredients in a separate bowl.
  7. Bake for 1 hour, then baste with sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes. Serve with leftover basting sauce.