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Local, fresh, hearty, delicious. This herb roasted venison, rabbit, and bacon dish is a new favorite in my house!
Hunting season started a few weeks ago, and none to soon…we were almost completely out of venison. That is, in part, because we discovered this herb roasted venison, rabbit, and bacon dish and have been making it a lot. It’s perfect for dinner parties…and leftovers. But first, hunting season. It’s fun to see Rick so excited to get back in the tree. For some reason, he wasn’t that interested last year (he went, but his heart wasn’t in it). This year he can’t wait to get back in that tree. Even though he managed to stab himself cleaning his deer on opening day (four stitches), that hasn’t damped his enthusiasm. I’m happy to say our freezer is filling up. I am hoping he also puts out a few rabbit traps so we can keep eating this dish. And that he stops by our favorite small farm, Chicama Run, to pick up the bacon. My mouth is watering at the thought.
One of the things I like about this recipe is that it’s really very versatile. We’ve used pumpkin or trumpet squash, white potatoes and sweet potatoes, and no potatoes at all. I suppose if you didn’t have rabbit or venison, you could use chicken and lamb instead. I haven’t tried that, but maybe I will. It’s all good! Mouthwatering, feed me NOW good. I will say, use really good bacon. It makes a huge difference.
Be prepared–this dish smells so good while you’re cooking it, you may start eating before it gets to the table.
: Herb Roasted Venison, Rabbit, and Bacon
: This takes comfort food to a whole new level
- 1 rabbit (about 2 lbs if you’re in Virginia), cut into pieces, rinsed, and patted dry
- 1 lb venison, cubed
- 4 medium red potatoes, quartered
- 1 small pumpkin, cubed or 4 cups of trumpet squash, cubed
- 12 to 24 cloves garlic
- 6 Tbs olive oil
- 8 oz. slab bacon, cut into cubes
- 6 Tbs fresh rosemary leaves OR 2 Tbs dried rosemary
- 2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- coarse salt, to taste, optional
- 6 sprigs rosemary, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place the potatoes, pumpkin, and garlic cloves in a large roasting pan (I use a stoneware roasting dish).
- Sprinkle with 1 Tbs of the olive oil, and toss to coat. Bake for 30 mins.
- While the potatoes, pumpkin, and garlic are roasting, combine the bacon and 2 Tbs of the oil in a large skillet, and place over low heat. Cook just until the bacon begins to wilt. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and set it aside.
- Saute the rabbit and venison in batches (don’t crowd the skillet, otherwise they won’t brown evenly), setting the pieces aside as they are browned.
- Reserve 2 Tbs of the pan drippings.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven, and reduce the heat to 350.
- Add the rabbit, venison, rosemary, pepper, coarse salt, reserved pan drippings, and remaining 3 Tbs of oil to the roasting pan. Toss thoroughly, and return the pan to the oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle the reserved bacon over the top, and bake until the meat is tender and the vegetables are golden, another 20 minutes or so.
- Arrange the mixture on a warmed platter, and garnish with the rosemary sprigs.
To make this paleo friendly, simply omit the potatoes and use your favorite root vegetable instead. This is great with celery root or sunchokes.
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 1 hour(s) 20 minute(s)
Diet type: Paleo friendly (with slight modification)
Number of servings (yield): 8
Copyright © Susan Rose.
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