Thanks for taking time to check out this smoked venison, beef, and bacon meatloaf recipe. Before we get into the “how to” portion of this post, allow me to share some of the inspiration behind it.
Ever since I was a kid, meatloaf has ranked highly among my favorite meals. It helped that my Mother was and still remains today one of the best “down home Virginia” raised cooks ever – having grown up on a tobacco farm outside of Danville, VA. Our table was filled with everything from homemade chicken and dumplings to roasted chicken hearts and gizzards in a kick-butt creme sauce on toast. Yes, on toast. Then, there was her peach chicken… a pressure cooked whole fryer with potatoes, yellow onions, and peaches. Oh yeah.
But on those really fortunate days, Mom busted out the meatloaf with sweet potato casserole and green beans. This was the meal that always made my little kid heart smile, and it served as the inspiration for this smoked variation I present to you in this post.
Amazing Smoked Venison and Beef Meatloaf
A couple of months back, a co-worker of mine and I split the cost of a whole deer taken by one of our other co-workers. Pays to know hunters! Venison isn’t something I can just go grab from the store down here in Central Florida, so I jumped at the chance to grab a bunch of it to load into the freezer.
I got a nice big piece of back strap, some cubed steaks, and a whole lot of ground venison (hamburger). I’ve put the ground venison to good use thus far – making venison and pork “MOINK” balls that turned out very well, as well as a few venison and veal burgers with a bit of chopped up bacon and red onion in them. But to date, my favorite iteration of the ground venison wonderfulness has to be this smoked venison and beef meatloaf. As you can see, I split the recipe in two so as to get a ton of smoke on the surface area of both “mini loaves.”
Smoked Venison, Beef, and Bacon Meatloaf – Ingredients
The ingredients are simple enough. Knowing that venison is super lean, I blend together one pound of Venison of it with some 85/15 grass-fed beef from Maverick Ranch and one half of a package Coleman Natural Uncured Hickory Smoked Bacon.
To add a little more flavor, I threw in about a cup of a red, green, and yellow pepper mix and onion mix as well as a quarter cup of TrueBud BBQ “The General” Championship Rub and one half of a cup of Daigle’s Cajun Sweet Applewood Jalapeno Sauce. This sauce also got applied to the outside of the two meatloaf babies after they were removed from the smoker and left to set up a bit.
To bind the ingredients together, I added two large free-range chicken eggs (happy chickens lay better eggs… true fact!), and about a cup of finely ground Italian herb bread crumbs.
Once I collected all of my ingredients together, I simply mixed them all together “caveman style” in a large mixing bowl and left the mixture covered in the fridge overnight so the flavors could all get nice and happy together. I also find that since this mixture can be a touch “wet,” the overnight rest up in the fridge allows the meat’s protein fibers to coil up and grab hold to each other a bit – thus letting the final product hold together better.
Smoked Venison, Beef, and Bacon Meatloaf – The Cook
The cooking process used for these two smoked venison, beef, and bacon meatloaf babies is pretty straight forward. I got my little GMG Davy Crockett pellet smoker up to a 250 degree F fire using Cookin’ Pellets Perfect Mix blend, set them in resting on a wire rack, and put my trusty ThermoWorks ChefAlarm to use – set at 160 F.
Once the temp got to the desired reading, all that was left was to double-check with my other best friend – my ThermoWorks Thermapen MK4 – cover with a little of the Daigle’s Cajun sauce, leave to set up a bit, and dig in.
I think you’ll enjoy this smoked venison, beef and bacon meatloaf. Serve it up for dinner with some sweet potato casserole and green beans, or enjoy it on sandwiches. Any way you choose to serve it up, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s an amazing way to add a little variation to your typical BBQ meal.