Have ground venison in the freezer from last year’s harvest and don’t know what to make?
Do you find yourself searching the internet and flipping through cookbooks looking for new interpretations on how prepare all that ground game before you fill another deer tag this season? I’m sure everyone has their traditional favorites that include hamburgers, spaghetti, chili, tacos, lasagna and skillet bakes. And let’s not forget about what I’m certain we have all had one time or another, the classic meatloaf.
Simple by definition, a meatloaf is a dish of ground or minced meat infused with other ingredients that stretch the meat and is formed typically into a loaf shape. Baked, smoked, boiled, stuffed, covered in ketchup or wrapped in bacon, either way you prefer it, this iconic staple still reigns supreme when it’s time to sit down and enjoy a family dinner.
Now my version of this classic comfort food has a slight twist.
For this recipe, I use ground venison combined with olive oil, grated pecorino cheese and a few simple seasonings that help to flavor and bind the meat. Instead of shaping into a loaf, like the classic, I flatten the ground meat on top of a long piece of plastic wrap until it’s about ½ inch thick. Then working in layers, I add thin slices of prosciutto (a dry-cured ham), provolone cheese and wilted baby spinach. Finally I carefully roll up the meat, turning it to secure all of the stuffing ingredients tightly inside and drizzle the top with the remaining olive oil.
The rich flavor from the ground venison, savory flavors from the salty prosciutto and combination of cheeses makes this recipe a tasty spin to a classic.
- 2 pounds ground venison
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 4 cups baby spinach, tightly packed
- 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- In a large bowl, mix the ground venison meat with 1 tablespoon olive oil, grated pecorino cheese and seasonings.
- Heat a skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the spinach in the skillet until wilted about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Place a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and add the ground meat to the center. Start pressing the meat out until you get about a 1/2 inch thickness all around. Working in layers, add the prosciutto, provolone cheese slices and wilted spinach. Pick up the plastic wrap from the longest side and begin rolling up the meat being sure to keep pressure on the roll securing all of the stuffing ingredients tightly inside. Set the stuffed meat rollup on a baking pan and remove the plastic. Drizzle the top of the meat roll-up with remaining olive oil. Loosely cover with foil and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150° degrees. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice the venison roll-up and pour any remaining pan sauce over the top before serving.