By Megan Paulson Explore Big Sky Staff Writer

Hunter’s Balsamic Glazed Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1-2 pounds ground venison (elk, antelope or deer)

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup medium zucchini, finely diced

1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced

1/4 cup yellow pepper, finely diced

5 cloves garlic, smashed to a paste with coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, divided

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves

3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup panko (Japanese) breadcrumbs

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

1 cup ketchup, divided

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 F. Heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat. Add zucchini, peppers, garlic paste, 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, salt and pepper to taste, and cook until almost soft – about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the eggs and herbs in a large bowl. Add the meat, breadcrumbs, cheese, 1/2 cup of the ketchup, 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinegar, and the vegetables, and mix just until ingredients are combined.

Mold meatloaf in a loaf pan coated with nonstick spray. Whisk together the remaining ketchup, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl. Brush mixture over the top of the loaf. Bake the meatloaf for 60-75 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

Best Wild Game Marinade

1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon brown or dijon mustard

Freshly ground pepper

Mix above ingredients in shallow dish; place meat into marinade for 20-30 minutes, turning once. Remove from marinade and grill to desired temperature. Works great on any cut of venison steak, back strap or tenderloin.