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Southwestern Venison Meatloaf With Quinoa


This recipe was created a few years ago after bagging a nice buck during deer season. Since I love southwestern style foods, the spices used here were just natural. I did use some quinoa and mushrooms in it instead of any breadcrumbs. This is also good using elk, moose or bison. Serve with some roasted vegetables, a simple salad and some hearty homemade cheesy jalapeno cornbread for a complete meal.

Rate this recipe 3.2/5 (19 Votes)


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tablespoons walnut or other oil
  • 1 coarse chopped medium red onion
  • 1 coarse chopped medium yellow onion
  • 2 coarse chopped Anaheim chili peppers
  • 2 fine chopped red jalapeno peppers
  • 1 pound chopped portabella mushrooms
  • 6 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 pounds venison meat
  • 1 pound well marbled pork butt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 cup fine chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup fine chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dark rum
  • 4 large eggs
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup green salsa


Level of difficulty Average
Cost Average budget


Step 1

Wash quinoa and drain well. Bring water and stock to boil in a small saucepan, whisk in quinoa. Cover and simmer til water is absorbed and quinoa is tender,
about 10 to 15 minutes. Drain any excess water from pan, fluff with a fork and let cool.

Step 2

Heat oil in large skillet on medium, add the onions and peppers, cook til softened, about 4 minutes. Add the mushroom and garlic and cook, stir occasionally, til all
liquid from mushrooms has evaporated and veggies are tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool. Preheat oven to 375 F.

Step 3

Cut meats in 2 inch pieces, put on lined sheet, freeze for about 30 minutes, til firm (this helps to produce a better grind on the meat). Grind or simply pulse in a food processor, in batches, to desired consistency.

Step 4

Put meat in a large bowl with cooled vegetables, chili powder, quinoa, cumin, oregano, parsley, cilantro, rum (reserve 2 tablespoons), and eggs. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix with hands (the only way to mix thoroughly) til just combined (DO NOT over mix or loaf will be too firm and tough). Form mixture into loaf on a lightly greased rimmed sheet pan. Roast in middle of oven for 40 minutes.

Step 5

Puree salsa with 2 tablespoons reserved rum til very smooth, salt and pepper to taste. Remove loaf from oven and drain excess pan drippings. Brush salsa mix on top and sides of meat and return to oven, roast for another 30 to 45 minutes (if meat browns too quickly, put foil tent over loaf to prevent burning), or til meat registers 155 - 160 F on an instant-read thermometer. Let meat stand for 15 minutes before slicing.


You can substitute a gold tequila or a dark whiskey for the rum (I prefer the real dark and hearty Meyers rum).
You can also substitute a red salsa or you can mix the 2 tablespoons of rum with green or red enchilada or chili sauce (if using these , pureeing is not needed).

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