Smoked Venison Meatloaf with Chili Catsup

Smoked Venison Meatloaf with Chili Catsup
Serves 6-8

If you are a hunter, ask your processor for an 80/20, or 75/25, meat-to-fat ratio for this dish. By grinding the lean, tough cuts of venison, your end product will be far more tender.

What you need:
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup finely-diced green bell pepper
½ cup medium yellow onion, finely diced
½ cup finely-diced celery
2 cups (1 pound) ground venison
1 cup fine bread crumbs
2 tablespoons Fennel Garlic Rub
2 eggs
2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1½ cups Chili Catsup 

What to do:
1. Add the olive oil to a small sauté pan over medium-low heat, and sweat the pepper, onion, and celery 3 to 5 minutes, until soft. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl to cool to room temperature.

2. Prepare the Fennel Garlic Rub.

3. When the veggies are cool, add the ground venison, bread crumbs, Fennel Garlic Rub, eggs, and Worcestershire sauce to the bowl. Use your hands to gently mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.

4. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

5. Use your hands to shape the ground venison mixture into an 8 x 5 x 2-inch loaf, and place it on the lined baking sheet.

6. When you are ready to cook, heat the grill to 300 degrees F, using the 2-Zone method.

7. Place the baking sheet on the cool side of the 2-Zone grill and cook 1 hour, or until a meat thermometer placed in the middle of the meatloaf reads an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. Remove from the heat and set the meatloaf aside to rest for 5 minutes.

8. Prepare the Chili Catsup.

9. To serve, top the meatloaf with ¾ cup Chili Catsup, and pass the remaining sauce around the table.

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