Introduction: A Unique Twist on Classic Meatloaf
Looking for a tasty and nutritious recipe using ground elk? Look no further! This elk meatloaf recipe is the perfect choice. Made with 2 pounds of elk meat and without bread crumbs, it can even be made gluten-free. Whether it’s hunting season or you simply have some elk in the freezer, this recipe is a winner. Get ready to impress your friends and family with this flavorful twist on a traditional dish.
The Benefits of Elk Meatloaf
Lean Protein and Essential Minerals
Elk meat is an excellent source of lean protein. Not only does it make a delicious substitute for beef, but it also provides essential minerals like zinc, iron, phosphorus, and potassium. With its high-quality protein and impressive mineral content, elk meatloaf is a nutritious choice for any meal.
No Gamey Taste, Gluten-Free Option
Unlike some other game meats, elk meatloaf usually has little to no gamey taste. This makes it a great option for those who aren’t fond of stronger flavors. Additionally, by swapping soy sauce for gluten-free alternatives and using almond flour instead of breadcrumbs, you can easily make this recipe gluten-free and Paleo-friendly.
Ingredients and Equipment
To make this mouthwatering elk meatloaf, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Ground elk meat (90% lean)
- Ground pork meat
- Large eggs
- Finely ground almond flour
- Chopped onion
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce
- Dried parsley
- Dried basil
- Tomato paste (double-concentrated)
- Garlic powder
- Salt and pepper
- Cooking oil spray
- Ketchup (preferably low sugar or no sugar added)
In terms of equipment, you’ll need a good knife, a large metal roasting pan, a meat thermometer, and a silicone pastry brush for the topping. Make sure to use a roasting pan with a rim to catch any juices and fats that may come off the meatloaf during cooking.
How to Make Elk Meatloaf
Let’s dive into the cooking process:
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C) and spray a metal roasting pan with cooking oil spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground elk, ground pork, eggs, almond flour, chopped onion, soy sauce, basil, parsley, tomato paste, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Mix everything thoroughly with clean hands.
- Shape the mixture into a large loaf in the prepared roasting pan. Aim for a size of about 8.5 inches long and 1-1.25 inches tall to ensure even cooking.
- Place the meatloaf on an oven rack positioned about ⅓ of the way from the top of the oven.
- Bake the meatloaf at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200C) for a total of 55-60 minutes. After 50 minutes, brush ketchup all over the top and sides for added flavor.
- To ensure safety, check the internal temperature of the elk meatloaf with a meat thermometer. It should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71C). If it hasn’t reached this temperature, extend the cooking time by a few more minutes.
- Once cooked, let the meatloaf rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving.
Leftovers and Serving Suggestions
One of the great things about making a 2-pound meatloaf is the leftovers! Store any cooked elk meatloaf in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. It’s perfect for making cold elk meatloaf sandwiches.
For side dishes, you can pair your elk meatloaf with mashed potatoes, peas, or any other side of your choice. Other excellent options include air fryer garlic bread, air fryer squash, garden salad, smoked mac and cheese, and air fryer frozen vegetables.
Expert Tips from a Dietitian
Elk meatloaf can be a versatile addition to your meal plan. Here are some tips to consider:
- For a lower-calorie meal, pair your elk meatloaf with low-oil, non-starchy vegetables like a garden salad, roasted broccoli, cauliflower rice, or roasted Brussels sprouts.
- If you’re aiming for a higher-calorie meal, add more carbohydrates to your plate. Options include mashed potatoes, corn, sweet potato fries, rice, quinoa, and peas.
- Want a filling and satisfying meal? Combine elk meatloaf with high-volume, low-calorie veggies or fruits. With its rich protein content, elk meatloaf ensures both taste and satiety.
Elk meatloaf is a delicious and nutritious choice for any occasion. With its lean protein, essential minerals, and versatile flavor, it’s a meal everyone will enjoy. Whether you’re an experienced elk chef or new to wild game cooking, this recipe is sure to impress. So, gather your ingredients, preheat that oven, and get ready to savor every bite of this mouthwatering elk meatloaf.