Do you find yourself searching the internet and flipping through cookbooks looking for new interpretations on how to prepare all of that ground game meat before you fill another deer tag this season? I’m sure everyone has their traditional favorites that include hamburgers, spaghetti, chili, tacos, lasagna and skillet bakes. And let’s not forget meatloaf. This iconic staple reigns supreme in many households when it’s time to sit down and enjoy a family dinner.
Now, my version of this classic comfort food has a slight twist. For this recipe, I use ground venison combined with olive oil, grated pecorino cheese and a few simple seasonings that help flavor and bind the meat. Instead of shaping into a loaf like the classic, I flatten the ground meat on top of a long piece of plastic wrap until it’s about ½ inch thick. Then working in layers, I add thin slices of prosciutto (a dry-cured ham), provolone cheese and wilted baby spinach. Finally, I carefully roll up the meat, turning it to secure the ingredients tightly inside and drizzle the top with the remaining olive oil.
The rich flavor from the ground venison, savory flavors from the salty prosciutto and combination of cheeses makes this recipe a tasty spin on a classic.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 70 minutes
- 2 pounds ground venison
- 4 slices prosciutto
- 4 slices provolone cheese
- 4 cups baby spinach, tightly packed
- 1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375° F.
In a large bowl, mix the ground venison meat with 1 tablespoon olive oil, grated pecorino cheese and seasonings.
Heat a skillet over low heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Cook the spinach in the skillet until wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place a long piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board and add the ground meat to the center. Start pressing the meat out until you get about a 1/2 inch thickness all around. Working in layers, add the prosciutto, provolone cheese slices and wilted spinach.
Pick up the plastic wrap from the longest side and begin rolling up the meat, being sure to keep pressure on the roll, securing all of the stuffing ingredients tightly inside. Set the stuffed meat roll-up on a baking pan and remove the plastic. Drizzle the top of the meat roll-up with remaining olive oil.
Loosely cover with foil and bake for 50-55 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150° degrees. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the venison roll-up and pour any remaining pan sauce over the top before serving.
All photos: Kristy Crabtree