Wild-Game Meatloaf

montana recipe, meatloaf, cooking, bozeman

A western twist on a comfort classic.

It’s the most delicious time of year: hunting season. Healthy, flavorful wild game starts to turn up in all sorts of meals, as people clear out their freezers and start filling tags. So, whether you’re one of the lucky few who still have meat left over from last season, or you’ve been going hungry waiting for the season to open, here’s a great recipe to put that meat to use: wild-game meatloaf.

Meatloaf Ingredients
3 lbs. ground wild game
1/2 cup finely-diced white onion
1 cup panko bread crumbs
3 eggs
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
3 Tbsp. paprika
1 1/2 Tbsp. salt
1/2 Tbsp. black pepper

Meatloaf Instructions
Pick your favorite blend of ground wild-game meat. Using a stand mixer, add the meat and all the meatloaf ingredients to the bowl and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Dump onto a clean work surface and knead like dough to get as much air out of the center as possible. Grease a 9x5-inch bread pan and pack the meat mixture into the pan. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 75-90 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Take your loaf out of the oven and let rest for 15 minutes. Remove from the pan, slice to desired thickness, and serve over mashed potatoes with gravy and your favorite vegetables.

Gravy Ingredients
5 Tbsp. butter
3/4 cup flour
2 tsp. minced garlic
4 cups beef broth
Pinch of black pepper

Gravy Instructions
Melt butter in a 2-qt. or larger saucepan. When butter is fully melted, turn to medium heat and sauté the minced garlic until aromatic. A little bit of browning is okay (and delicious). Whisk in the flour until a roux is formed, then continue cooking the roux in the pan for 2-3 minutes. Slowly stir in the broth and pepper. Continue cooking on medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent clumping. After about 10 minutes the gravy will have thickened and be ready to eat.

Mashed Potatoes Ingredients
6 russet potatoes
1/4 cup butter
2 Tbsp. roasted garlic
1/2 cup heavy cream
Salt to taste

Mashed Potatoes Instructions
Dice potatoes into 1 1/2-inch cubes, put into pot, and cover with water. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 20 minutes or until potatoes are very soft. Drain water and move potatoes to a bowl. With a potato masher, mash in the butter, roasted garlic, and cream until desired consistency is achieved. Add salt to taste.

Tip: You can get roasted garlic at the store, but can also roast it yourself! Put whole cloves of garlic in a sauce pan and just cover with olive oil. Simmer on low for 30-45 minutes until the cloves are a nice golden brown. Strain the oil (which can be saved for cooking) and you have roasted garlic.

Rachel Lowndes grew up in Livingston and started her culinary journey 20 years ago washing dishes at the Dusty Boot. She worked her way up over the years and is now Executive Chef at the Jump. Her passion is cooking for others, whether it’s at home, over the campfire, or in the restaurant.