After Brad had his heart attack a couple of years ago, his doctor and dietician told him to eliminate red meat from his diet. The doctor did say he could have game meat occasionally, so when I saw ground elk on sale the other day, I thought I’d try it and some hot Italian turkey sausage in a meatloaf for a change from using ground turkey.
What a great flavor combination! Naturally lean, elk tastes much like ground beef and slightly sweet. The hot Italian turkey sausage adds a nice kick to the meatloaf, but you can use mild if you don’t like the heat. Next time I will add some red or green bell pepper to the mix.
Ingredients (serves 4 to 6)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- ½ cup celery, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound ground elk
- ½ pound hot Italian turkey sausage (casings removed, about 2 to 3 links)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup soft bread crumbs
- 1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
- 1½ tablespoons fresh basil, chopped fine
- 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- ¾ cup fresh shredded Parmesan cheese
Lightly oil a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 375 F.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté onion, celery and garlic until they begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Combine the elk, sausage, Worcestershire, egg, and breadcrumbs in a large bowl.
Put half of the tomato sauce into the meat mixture, along with the chopped onion, celery, garlic, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and cheese. Mix well until blended.
Pack the meat mixture into the loaf pan.
Bake for 45 minutes. Drain off any drippings and top with the remaining tomato sauce. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes longer.
Let the meatloaf rest for a few minutes; transfer to a platter and slice. Serve with mashed potatoes and a green veggie or salad.
If you have leftovers, store them in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days. One of the reasons I love meatloaf is for sandwiches the next day. Yum-oh!