This is the time of year that our larders are at their fullest – a freezer full of moose meat means that we can get creative around dinner time. The flavours of wild game, roast pumpkin and fragrant herbs blend together for this perfect autumnal meal. Use whatever ground venison you have on hand – moose, elk or deer all work well. If you are concerned about ground deer meat being dry, you could add in a bit of ground pork in addition.
A 3 lbs pumpkin
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lbs ground venison
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 cup dried morels, rehydrated*
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
4 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp coarse salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
While the oven is preheating, fry the onions, morels and garlic in a pan on the stove over medium heat. After the onions and morels have cooked through, add in the ground meat, maple syrup, soy sauce, herbs and spices. Fry for another 10 minutes or until the meat is cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat.
Cut the top off a pumpkin and remove the guts from it. Once cleaned, fill with the venison mixture. Pour in approximately half a cup of milk into the pumpkin and stir gently to mix with the meat (adjust milk amount depending on how moist the mixture already is.) Put the top of the pumpkin back into place.
Set the filled pumpkin onto a lined baking sheet and cook in the oven for around one hour. To serve, lightly scrape the inside of the pumpkin to allow it to mix with the venison. Scoop out and serve with rice or mashed potatoes.
*Note: To rehydrate dried morels, place into a bowl of warm water for at least 15 minutes before using.
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