Two Great Ground Venison Recipes

If you’ve still got ground venison in the freezer from last fall, these two recipes will help you use it up.

by posted on August 29, 2023
Bacon Venison Rolls Lede

Ground venison is super versatile, but it’s easy to get in a rut with it. If you need a break from the old standbys of tacos, spaghetti, chili and burgers, I’ve got you covered with two recipes.

Bacon Venison Rolls
This is sort of a take on meatloaf, but with plenty of cheese and bacon, it’s more kid-friendly (and very low-carb, if that’s your thing). This recipe makes two rolls, so I often bake one and freeze one to bake later on one of those I-don’t-feel-like-cooking nights.

2 lbs. ground venison
2 eggs, beaten
¼ cup ketchup
2 T Worcestershire sauce
4 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup finely chopped onion
2 T grated Parmesan
1 t salt
12 strips of bacon

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Combine all ingredients except the bacon and mix until well blended. Shape into two six-inch logs.

Lay six strips of bacon side by side on a sheet of wax paper or parchment paper, so that the slices are slightly overlapping each other. Place a venison log on top of the bacon at one end and use the paper to help roll it up so the log is wrapped nice and tight in bacon. Repeat with the rest of the bacon and the second log.

Place rolls in a 9x13 pan lined with foil, or on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Bake 45-50 minutes.

Venison Bolognese Sauce
Years ago, I took a food tour in Bologna, Italy, the home of the world-famous Bolognese sauce. The tour guide shared this recipe with me. Of course, I’ve modified it to use venison instead of beef, and I had to do all the metric conversions to wind up with measurements I could use. This is one recipe where a little fat mixed into your venison is a good thing—this sauce needs some fat to help it coat noodles nicely. But if your venison was ground without fat, as mine usually is, you’ll have enough from the bacon to make it work.

Italians serve this with large, thick pasta, primarily tagliatelle, and when I’m feeling really ambitious, I make noodles from scratch to really bring this recipe to the next level. The sauce is also good over gnocchi, spooned into zucchini boats, or even just spread over thick, crusty bread.

The cream is optional; it’s probably not strictly traditional depending on who you talk to, but I really like it.

Set aside the better part of an afternoon to make this sauce. The mincing is the most tedious part. Your bacon or pancetta will mince much more easily if it’s partially frozen.

2/3 lb. ground venison
1/3 lb. pancetta or bacon, finely minced
1.8 oz. minced carrot
1.8 oz. minced celery
1.8 oz. minced onion
10 oz. tomato sauce
3 oz. dry white wine or chicken stock
3 oz. whole milk
Optional: 3 oz. heavy cream
Olive oil

Cook the bacon or pancetta over medium-low heat in a heavy Dutch oven until the fat is rendered out (but don’t let it get crispy). Add 3T olive oil and the vegetables. Fry gently until tender.

Add the venison and stir to break it up as it cooks. When it is just done, add the wine or stock. Cook, stirring constantly, until completely evaporated.

Add tomato sauce and cover. Turn the heat down and simmer for two hours, adding broth as needed to keep the pan from getting too dry. You want it to to stay ever-so-slightly soupy, like sloppy joe mixture—if it looks dry like ground beef, it’ll burn.

Stir in milk and cream. Taste and season as needed.

Serve over tagliatelle or your favorite thick pasta. According to my food guide, Italians would never dare serve this sauce with a thin noodle like spaghetti, but you’ll get no judgement from me!


Deering First Aid Kit
Deering First Aid Kit

Must-Have Items in Your Range First-Aid Kit

You should carry at least a few basic first-aid items in your range bag—and know how to use them.

Gun Proofing Our Kids: Teaching a Gun Safety Mindset

Here are a few tips for teaching youth responsible behavior with and around firearms.

Dilemma: My Kid Has No Interest in Hunting!

You’ve long dreamed of taking your kid hunting with you, but they just aren’t into it. What can you do?

Henry Repeating Arms Donates Hand-Painted Rifles for 8-Year-Old’s Cancer Treatments

The design features the pony that Kaia frequents for rides at a local farm.

New for 2023: Taurus GX4 Carry

How does this pistol compare to its micro-compact sibling?

The Armed Citizen® September 29, 2023

Don't bring electric clippers to a gun fight ... That's what a Texas man learned when he stalked and assaulted his ex-girlfriend inside her own vehicle. 

Women's Interests

Get the best of NRA Women delivered to your inbox.