Deer season started today, so to honor my husband and all the wild game he provides for my family, I made this wonderful venison meal.
I love to cook with wild foods and two of my favorites are Venison and Wild mushrooms. I had a few pounds of ground venison in the freezer from last year and about a pound of frozen wild mushroom from summer.The mushroom I am using is a Chicken Mushrooms ( Laetiporus- Cincinnatus) the orange verity. I also had home-made Marinara sauce out of the garden. All that I needed from the store was cheese and noodles.
This was the foraged mushroom that I had a portion of frozen.
The stems of the mushroom can be woody, I saute’ them chopped in butter with a little onion and garlic before I brown my meat. It can take several minutes to make the mushroom stems soft. I like to use bigger pieces so they do not lose their texture in the cheese mixture. I cook the mushroom mixture a little longer then what it takes to soften the onions. Set it aside to wait assembly of the lasagna.
I then brown about a pound of ground venison with a little oil to keep it from sticking to the pan.
Because Venison is so low in fat the moister you see in the photo is not oil but moister from the meat. It will cook off and I add Salt and little pepper and one quart home-made Marinara Sauce or your favorite sauce. Adding 1/2 cup water to store-bought sauce or 1 cup to my thick sauce to add the additional moister for Oven Ready Noodles. If you use regular cooked noodles you would skip the water.
Then mix together in a large bowl the Cheese mixture of your choice. I like ricotta cheese in my lasagna for two reasons. First it has a lower moister content and will not get really runny with the Oven Ready Noodles. Secondly the flavor to me is better when mixed with Italian seasonings.
Then add sauce to venison and place about 1/2 cup in bottom of 13 X 11 pan cover with uncooked noodles.
Cover noodles with cheese mixture and top with sauteed mushroom and onion mixture
I then top this with another row of Oven Ready Noodles and cover the top with more venison sauce topping that with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Back in the oven lightly covered at 350 degrees for 60 minutes and let stand at least 15 minutes after removing from the oven. This allows the cheese to set up while cooling and keeps the lasagna firmer when cut and not too hot to eat.
1 pound wild mushrooms
1 med onion
1 teaspoon or two cloves garlic
2 teaspoons butter
1 pound ground venison
1 quart or more Marinara sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 pound ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup fresh shredder Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 table spoons Italian seasonings
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon parsley
1 box Oven Ready Noodles… the non-boil kind
- Saute chopped mushrooms, onions and garlic in butter a minute or two more than when the onion becomes translucent.
- Brown 1 pound of venison in large skillet, add salt and pepper and 1 quart of Marinara Sauce. Simmer until warm and bubbly.
- In a 13 X 11 backing pan spread 1/2 to 3/4 cup meat sauce in bottom of pan, making sure to cover entire bottom of pan adding more if needed.
- Cover sauce with one layer of Oven Ready Noodles.
- In large bowel add all but a handful of cheeses. Ricotta, Mozzarella, Parmesan, and two eggs. Mix until mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Add Italian seasoning, parsley, garlic salt to cheeses and mix.
- Scoop cheese mixture over Oven Ready Noodles and smooth out.
- Cover cheese with mushroom and onion mixture, spread evenly cover with 1/2 cup sauce below noodles.
- Cover with another row of Oven Ready Noodles and top with sauce, topping with left over cheese.
10.Cover loosely with tin foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Let cool for about 15 minutes before serving.
So with high hopes I can fill my freezer again this year with fresh organic meat..best of lucky Tom, Cody and Bill may you hunting season be filled with the joy of nature and thrill of the hunt and the knowledge that you have provided another year of food for your families.