Pot Roast

Pot Roast is one of those meals and fills you up and warms you from the inside out.  This is a staple in our house using venison, but the freezer is empty so I had to visit the butcher counter for some grass bed beef.

Traditional Yankee Pot Roast
adapted from Cooking Light Complete Cookbook


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 (2 pound) boneless beef roast or venison roast
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1 inch rounds
  • 1 pound small potatoes, halved


  1. Preheat oven to 300.
  2. Using a spice grinder, grind rosemary, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Rub mixture all over roast.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add roast to pan, browning on all sides. Combine broth, ketchup, and Worcestershire; pour over roast. Add tomato, bring to a simmer.
  4. Add carrots and potatoes, cover and bake at 300 for 1 hour or until tender.


I never knew I was a fan of meatloaf until I made this recipe.  We all know I love Italian food and this tastes like meatballs.  Served alongside some smashed potatoes, this is a dish straight up my alley!

RECIPE: Meatloaf adapted from How to Cook Everything


  • 2 slices day old bread (or lightly toasted bread) processed in food processor until crumbs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1.5-2 pounds ground meats (while a mixture would be nice, I’m still working on using up the venison, this was a great place for it! I cut the venison with 4 slices of thick bacon when I ground it)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 medium carrots, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 can plain tomato sauce


  1. Heat the oven to 350. 
  2. Mix bread crumbs and milk and let rest for 5 minutes. (Store bought bread crumbs can be substituted, just skip the milk soak.) 
  3. Combine all ingredients except sauce and shape into a loaf. 
  4. Place in a baking dish coated with olive oil and pour sauce over loaf. 
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, basting occasionally with the sauce.

Gnocchi with Venison/Lamb Bolognese

For Christmas, I received a meat grinder attachment for the KitchenAid Mixer and a Gnocchi rolling pin. And it just so happens, I have a freezer full of venison and some leftover lamb. So, I ground them up and with a lot of patience and Forrest’s help made a yummy dinner! I made up the Bolognese as I went along, so the measurements aren’t exact….

2 tbsp evoo
1 cup carrots, sliced using Cuisinart food processor
1 lb ground venison and lamb
2 cloves minced garlic
2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
6 oz. tomato paste
1 cup basil
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp kosher salt
1 cup dry red wine

Heat oil in dutch oven over medium heat. Add carrots, meat, and garlic and sauté until lightly browned. Meanwhile, crush basil and tomatoes (I also used the grinder attachment for this). Add remaining ingredients to meat mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer at least 1 hour. Add salt and pepper to taste.

adapted from Williams Sonoma Pasta

3 lbs russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2 large eggs
1 tsp kosher salt
2-3 cups all purpose flour

Boil potatoes until tender. Drain and cool potatoes. Rice the potatoes using either a ricer, food mill, or mashing thoroughly. Allow potatoes to cool completely (this is VERY important! It allows the excess moisture to evaporate, so that the potatoes are as dry as possible).

Break the eggs into a bowl, add salt, and beat lightly. Drizzle egg mixture over cooled potatoes. Sprinkle 1 cup of flour over potatoes. Using a bench scraper, fold the flour and egg into the potatoes until a dough forms. Sprinkle 1/4 cup flour over work surface and continue folding in flour until the dough reaches consistency. Roll the dough into a 1 inch log and cut into 1/2 inch pieces.

Drop the dough once piece at a time into boiling water. Allow to boil until gnocchi rises to the surface, about 3 minutes. Serve immediately.

** Freeze any extra dough in gnocchi shape on sheet pans.

Bacon Wrapped Venison Tenderloin

This was my first foray into cooking venison.  I found it tasty, but Forrest thought it needed to be cooked to a higher temperature, which probably would have toughened the meat.

Sweet Bacon-Wrapped Venison Tenderloin Recipe
Adapted from RecipeZaar #139664 by TCSmoooth

2 lbs venison tenderloins
1/2 lb bacon
3 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups soy sauce

Combine brown sugar & soy sauce in a bowl  Put venison loin in a baking dish and pour sugar-soy mixture over loin. Roll tenderloin over in mixture, completely covering it.  Let meat marinate in mixture overnight in fridge.
Remove loin from tray, and place on a slotted baking sheet with a drip pan or aluminum foil below to catch dripping. Reserve marinade.  Wrap a piece of bacon around the very end of the tenderloin, securing the bacon strip with a toothpick. Repeat this process until the entire loin is wrapped in ten or so bacon strips.  Drizzle remaining marinade over loin. You can continue to baste the loin with the marinade throughout the cooking process with either a brush or a turkey baster.

Place on center rack in oven and bake at 350°F for 45-55 minutes.
Remove from oven and place on cutting board.   Let stand 15 minutes.  Using a knife, cut the loin between each strip of bacon so that you have many pieces of meat, each with their own toothpick.


I like to make meatballs and store them in the freezer for a quick dinner. Since I couldn’t cook last night, hubby was in charge of dinner. He made Spaghetti & Meatballs using my frozen meatballs, Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara, & Giuseppes’ Basil Whole Wheat Angel Hair. It was a delicious, comfort food dinner that was just what the doctor ordered! Here’s the recipe for my make ahead meatballs.

1 lb ground beef, bison, or venison
1/2 lb pancetta (prosciutto works in a pinch!)
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1 clove garlic, minced (add more if you like, my hubby doesn’t like garlic!)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp Romano cheese
3 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
3 tbsp fresh basil, minced
salt & pepper to taste

Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Using a 1 inch scoop, shape into balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Cover prepared cookie sheet with foil and place in freezer for a few hours until frozen. Store meatballs in freezer safe bag until ready to use.

Cooking directions
Pour about a half inch olive oil in a baking dish and place meatballs in dish, turning to coat. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until browned. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels, and serve with your favorite pasta sauce.

These are also excellent meatballs for a Meatball Sub.