Being a grad student means that I am not always home for dinner during the week. I frequently make the hour long commute to Washington, DC to attend classes at night, leaving Shaun and the boys on their own for dinner. For a lot of dads this would mean ordering a pizza or getting Chinese carry out. Shaun, however, is no ordinary dad! He is just as handy in the kitchen as he is around the house- that’s right fellow moms, despite their claims to the contrary, men can operate an oven!
I am often amazed at the creative meals my husband puts together. He has the ability to bring flavors together in ways that are unexpected, yet totally delicious. It was during one of my recent school nights that Shaun created this Savory Venison Meatloaf with Portobello Gravy. I came home that night to a house that smelled like something straight out of Martha Stewart’s own kitchen- delish!
Gardening, fishing, and crabbing are a way of life in the Chesapeake region, as is hunting. Shaun has been an avid hunter since he was a little boy growing up on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. He spends many winter days scouting out geese and deer from the remote woods and fields of the Shore. This means that we are fortunate enough to have a well stocked freezer all year long of local Chesapeake waterfowl and venison.
If you’ve never tried venison, you might be surprised to find that it is a lean meat with a hint of sweetness. It’s very versatile and lends itself to a variety of dishes. Venison is a great alternative to beef and works well in burgers, jerky, stews, and just about any other dish that features red meat. This Savory Venison Meatloaf with Portobello Gravy is full of wholesome, fresh ingredients. It’s hearty and satisfying, but not heavy. If you don’t have access to venison, you could prepare this meal with ground beef and it will still be delicious.
This is a meal that the whole family will enjoy, kids included. Did I mention that Shaun also has the magical ability to get our kids to try (and like) new foods? Our 5 year old is now a venison lover! Hopefully you will be too when you try this tasty meal.
Learn why hunting is actually good for the white tail deer population in Maryland.
Savory Venison Meatloaf with Portobello Gravy
FOR THE MEATLOAF
1.5 lbs ground venison (or ground beef if venison isn’t available)
8oz carton of mushrooms (your choice), chopped
2 large eggs
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 cups flavored breadcrumbs (we use a Gluten Free variety)
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8oz can organic tomato sauce
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 cup ketchup
1 Tbs light brown sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. In a large bowl, combine mushrooms, breadcrumbs, garlic, onion, tomato sauce, eggs, Worcestershire sauce, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper.
3. Gently add the meat, carefully folding to combine all ingredients.
4. Lightly grease a 9×5 loaf pan and carefully add venison. Fill the loaf pan to the top.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the ketchup, Dijon, brown sugar, and white wine vinegar.
6. Pour over the meatloaf mixture to cover evenly.
7. Bake in the oven for about 70 minutes, or until the meat is cooked thoroughly.
FOR THE PORTOBELLO GRAVY
8oz portobello mushrooms, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 Tbsp. organic unsalted butter
1 cup of organic vegetable stock
2/3 cup white wine
1/2 pint organic heavy whipping cream
1 cup organic whole milk
1 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup rice flour
2/3 cup hot water
1. In a sauce pan over medium heat, saute onions, mushrooms, thyme, and rosemary in the butter for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to saute for 1 minute.
2. Add the vegetable stock and white wine, simmer on medium heat for 2 minutes.
3. Then add the heavy cream, milk, salt, and pepper.
4. Turn heat up to medium-high and continue to saute for several minutes, until the gravy begins to reduce and thicken.
5. In a small bowl, whisk together the rice flour and hot water.
6. Slowly add the flour mixture to the saute pan, stirring gently to combine.
7. Reduce heat and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
8. To serve, spoon generous amounts of portobello gravy on top of venison meatloaf.