May 27, 2013

A few months ago I was browsing the freezer section at Sprouts, when I came upon ground antelope. Although I rarely eat red meat, let alone cook with it, a couple of years ago I discovered that I like game such as elk or venison. So I looked at the nutritional information for the antelope, and, delighted with how low-calorie and low-fat it was compared to most red meat, decided to get some. It took quite a while before I used it, but I had kind of been thinking meatloaf all along. The progression from ‘antelope loaf’ to ‘anteloaf’ just seemed natural.

Since I’m doing a body fat loss challenge this summer, I wanted to make sure that I used nutritionally dense, unrefined ingredients for this recipe. Most meatloaf is made using bread crumbs and ketchup. I found one recipe online that used both bulgur and bread crumbs, so decided I would just go with bulgur. ¬†Bulgur is one of my favorite grains – high in fiber, considered a whole grain, and with a slightly nutty taste, it’s very quick to cook as well, which is a plus. In order to avoid using ketchup (which is about 1/3 refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup), I decided to use tomato paste and just a bit of honey. The Dijon was an idea from The Joy of Cooking.

Anteloaf Ingredients

Anteloaf Ingredients

I happened to have some green garlic from the Farmers’ Market, so I used that instead of minced garlic. In the future I would go ahead and use regular garlic – I just think it would work better flavor-wise and texture-wise.

Speaking of texture. My anteloaf wasn’t really the most structurally sound food item. It crumbled a bit when I removed it from the pan. But I’ve never really been one to place a high level of importance on this type of thing as long as my food tastes good, and the texture isn’t atcually weird or displeasing. (Unless I’m photographing it, in which case that type of thing becomes quite annoying. But you know – meatloaf isn’t attractive. It’s just not. It’s a hearty comfort food, and not something that you’re going to find in a fine dining establishment or on the cover of Food & Wine (don’t quote me – there could very well be a meatloaf-featuring issue somewhere in the magazine’s history, I just doubt it.) So anyway, where was I going with that? Oh yeah – so this meatloaf was never going to be photogenic no matter what. The fact that it crumbled a bit didn’t really bother me.)

So the result? It definitely had a slightly gamey smell, but the taste was outstanding. I really liked the addition of bulgur, which gave it a more hearty texture. The taste worked really well with the antelope and the Dijon was a great addition. Here’s an extreme close-up, to show the texture. Trust me, it’s more attractive than the before and after going in the oven pictures, or anything I got of individual servings.

Anteloaf - Extreme Closeup

Anteloaf – Extreme Closeup (aka ‘Enlarged to Show Texture)

makes 4-5 servings

1 lb ground antelope (or elk, turkey, or ostrich)
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/3 cup finely chopped green garlic (or 3-5 garlic cloves, minced)
3/4 cup cooked bulgur (I use low-sodium chicken stock instead of water)
1 whole egg + 2 egg whites lightly beaten
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix the egg, tomato paste, Dijon, honey, and salt until well combined. Put all ingredients into a large bowl, and mix with your hands until ingredients are well-combined, but try not to over-mix. Put the meatloaf in the (ungreased) bread pan and even the top out. Bake uncovered for 1 hour to 1 hour + 15 minutes. The inside of the meatloaf should be 160 degrees for antelope, elk, or ostrich, or 165 degrees for turkey. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before serving. (Remove any extra fat if it’s there – these meats are fairly lean though, so you might not have to.)

Nutrition Info for 1/5 loaf: 192 cals, 3.9 g fat, 1.6 g fiber, 23 g protein, 4 WW points

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