Venison- pork meatloaf for special occasions

Venison meatloaf is a special occasion feature LITTLE ROCK (AGFC) – For a company-coming dinner entrée that will bring comments of delight, here is a suggestion from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission: Venison-pork meatloaf.

The list of ingredients is fairly lengthy, but all are common items. You'll probably already have them on hand.

For a non-hunter, the mention of venison may bring forth an attitude of caution. It may be unfamiliar. This meatloaf could quickly change that opinion.

The addition of ground pork to ground venison brings forth a special taste in addition to eliminating the crumbing possibility of venison by itself. Venison is extremely lean; pork balances this.

Venison-Pork Meatloaf
3/4 cup packed torn bread pieces, crusts removed
1/3 cup milk, whole or 2 percent
4 teaspoons vegetable oil
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/2 cup finely chopped bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2 cup finely chopped roasted red peppers
2 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon salt 2 teaspoons dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds ground venison
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup ketchup

Heat oven to 350 degrees and arrange a rack in the middle. Combine torn bread and milk in a small bowl; set aside. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add celery, onion, bell pepper and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool slightly, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Add soaked bread, half of the roasted red peppers, eggs, Worcestershire, salt, mustard, and pepper to the vegetables and stir together until evenly combined. Add venison and pork and using clean hands mix until combined (don't squeeze or overwork). .

Form meat into a loose loaf and transfer into a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (don't press down). Mix together the remaining roasted red pepper and ketchup and brush it over the top. Place meatloaf in oven and bake about 1 to 1 1/2 hours until internal temperature is 150 degrees. Remove from oven and let sit 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.

This dish can be a feature at a cloth-napkin dinner at home, a campsite setting or a take-along for a picnic.