By Josh Boyd
In hunting, success is often judged by the bounty of fresh game meat that is provided for your family’s consumption. Each fall not only allows us to retreat into the sanctity of our nation’s majestic wildlands, but in turn offers us, as hunters, an opportunity to pack our freezers full of some of the finest sustenance that can be procured.
Few such forms of sustenance provided by a successful hunt come as highly regarded as that yielded by the successful harvest of a whitetail deer. When many hunters think of venison, they envision finely cooked steaks and flavor-rich jerky. However, far fewer hunters give ample consideration to the value that ground venison offers when supplementing their family’s diet.
Ground venison has the wonderful trait of being easily substituted in the place of ground beef, in nearly any dish where it is a staple. This makes ground venison extremely diverse in its list of uses, and allows hunters to reduce their dependence upon meat from the grocery.
Although the list of dishes in which ground venison can be used is virtually endless, some become instant family favorites and come with a high degree of fanfare from all who have tasted them. One such dish is 3 Cheese Venison Burger Pasta. This dish can be prepared quickly, goes a long way per serving, and is sure to satisfy the hungry stomachs of all who take their place at the table.
Preparing Your Ingredients
As with any dish, the ingredients used during the preparation of 3 Cheese Venison Burger Pasta all carry their specific value and serve a vital role in creating a delicious final product.
Before cooking can begin, gather the following ingredients:
* 1-pound ground venison
* 3 tsp. minced garlic
* Small onion, chopped finely
* 2 tbsp. oil
* 3 cups spaghetti sauce
* 6 cups pasta, (of your choice) cooked and drained
* 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
* 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
* ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Brown Ground Venison
With your ingredients all gathered, you will now be ready to brown the ground venison that is to be used in your dish. However, before doing so, preheat your oven to 350 degrees in preparation for the baking process to come.
Next, turn on a stovetop burner to medium-high heat. Place your onions, along with an appropriate amount of cooking oil, into a pan that is of the suitable size for the amount of meat that is to be cooked.
You will now sauté the onion within the pan, adding garlic only when the onions have softened. Once your garlic has been added, continue the sautéing process for an additional one-minute, being careful not to burn the garlic.
At this point, you will add your ground venison into the pan in which you have been working. Cook this venison until it has been properly browned, while stirring frequently to ensure that no clumping of meat occurs. Once browning is complete, drain any excess grease from your pan.
Prepare Pasta of Choice
You will now select a pot of adequate size for your pasta to be placed within for boiling. This pasta can be of nearly any variety that you prefer and can be varied at times, to cater to individual tastes.
First, fill your pot with water to a level that completely submerges any pasta that is to be used. Next, add your pasta of choice into the pot, and place the pot on a stove-top burner. Set the burner to medium-high heat and allow the water within to come to a boil. Stir the pasta within the boiling water until cooked thoroughly.
Once all pasta has been evenly cooked, turn off the stovetop burner. Now drain all water from the pot, while retaining the pasta.
Assemble the Dish and Cook
You will now stir your ground venison into the pot in which your pasta was cooked. At this point, all additional ingredients, except for 1-cup of mozzarella cheese, will be added into the pot as well.
Stir all of the ingredients contained within the pot thoroughly. It is of significant importance to ensure the even mixing of the contents of this dish, as a failure to do so will leave portions of the finished product void of the flavor that is expected.
You will now place the contents of your pot into a shallow 3-quart dish. Evenly spread this mixture of ingredients within the dish, while also attempting to keep these contents leveled to an even depth. At this point, spread the remaining mozzarella cheese, which was not included in the prior mixture, across the surface of your dish.
With your oven already preheated to 350 degrees, place your dish into the oven. Keeping the oven set as it is currently, cook this dish for a total of 20 minutes. At this point, the mixture should be bubbling slightly, and all cheese should be melted.
A Quick Dish, for Savory Satisfaction
Spare time comes at a premium in today’s ultra-modern world. This often makes it difficult to find an opportunity to cook home-cooked meals, like we all remember from our childhood years, and leaves us searching for time-efficient ways to create savory dishes. If you find yourself in a similar situation, give 3 Cheese Venison Burger Pasta a try. With a full stomach and a smile on your face, there is little doubt that you will be happy that you did.
(h/t Great American Wildlife)