I am always looking for new ways to use wild meat since we have a freezer full of it. I don’t buy red meat at the store anymore, but most anyone who has tried wild meat knows, it can be difficult to find the right recipes. I usually just substitute wild game for beef in a recipe, but sometimes it just doesn’t work out… like burgers for instance. But sometimes, it works like magic and our taste buds are delighted at the very thought of tasty, wonderful wild game meat.
This is one of those recipes.
We received a pizza stone for a wedding present a few years back and have been celebrating “Pizza Fridays” at the farm since the move. In an attempt to recreate some of the delicious pizza creations known to Anchorage, I’ve found myself on a Pizza-delic journey. Many things can make or break a good pizza and believe me, our town lacks in the good pie take out category. Same sh*t, different day. Where’s the creativity, the love, the basic Italian formula? Thus, more of a reason for “Pizza Fridays” at our house. The one thing I’ve learned, I truly enjoy making pizza.
Thursday rolls around and I realize at 4:00 pm I don’t have anything planned or thawed for dinner. Crap. Goes to show me that I can’t just start volunteer coaching a girls basketball team without consequence. But… I did have mozzarella, flour, yeast and bbq sauce… Ah ha! “Pizza…ah… Thursday”! (What can I say, I’m a rebel).
The meat component is always a factor as my husband is not one to go vegetarian anytime soon. Well, I did have pepperoni, but wanted to kick it up a notch, so leftover venison from our fall Mule Deer came to the rescue… at least I hoped so. I decided to do a version of my favorite Moose’s Tooth pizza (an Anchorage pizzeria and brew pub), the Avalanche, complete with BBQ sauce, bacon and red onion, but make it a little more Canadian Acres.
This recipe may look a little daunting, but it took me less than 45 minute to put together and bake so all in all, not a bad way to do dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
Venison Bacon BBQ Pizza
For the Crust:
I use a bread machine to make my pizza crusts. Nothing like throwing some stuff in a box and heading out to do chores only to find beautiful dough 1:20 minutes later. My kind of kitchen appliance.
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 TBL sunflower oil (I’m sure any type of vegetable oil will work, but EVOO is too heavy)
- 1 TBL sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 1/2 cups bread flour
- 2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated garlic
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
Put everything in the bread machine following the order, turn it on to your “dough” setting and leave it until it’s ready. Yes.
Whilst the dough was being mixed, I made some roasted garlic.
- 1 head of garlic, pointed end cut off, about 1-2 inches from top
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt (Pink Himalayan is my fav)
- 1 piece of Aluminum foil
Place the cut garlic on the aluminum foil, cut side up, and drizzle with EVOO. Salt and pepper generously. Wrap foil around garlic and place in 400 degree F oven for 40 minutes. When finished and cooled, remove garlic cloves from paper skin. Yum.
The Pizza Part:
- 1/2 cup sliced cooked venison tenderloin – I sliced the chunks of meat thinly to lay flat on the pizza top
- Venison tenderloin tips made the night before: Take thawed chunks of venison tenderloin and generously season with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, a little bit of crushed red pepper and flour. Toss and let sit for a few minutes. Fry in EVOO until medium rare, about 5 minutes. Do in batches so the meat has room to brown.
- 4 slices of bacon, crisped and crumbled
- 1/4 – 1/2 of red onion thinly sliced
- Pepperoni slices, enough to go around the pizza top 2-4 times
- 1 head roasted garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup BBQ sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s original)
- 2-3 cups mozzarella cheese (don’t skimp… cheese rules)
- 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
- Salt & pepper
Place pizza stone onto a cookie sheet and place into oven. Preheat oven (with stone) to 400 degrees F. Spread about 1 TBL of corn meal onto a large cutting board. Shape crust on top of cornmeal (it helps it glide) into a large circle that will fit onto your pizza stone. Prick crust with fork in multiple places to ensure the crust doesn’t bubble during cooking time. Slide crust off of cutting board onto the pizza stone (carefully… vewy carefully) and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove cookie sheet (with stone, crust and all) and place on top of a burn proof surface. I used the cutting board I shaped my dough on for this. Slather that BBQ sauce on like you’re from Texas or some other BBQ lovin’ state and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle half of your mozzarella cheese on top follow with the chopped roasted garlic. Put the remaining mozzarella and cheddar cheeses on. Place your pepperoni in a circle, starting from the outside and working your way in… make it look like a real pizza. Legit. Add your venison, bacon and red onion. Pop the pizza back in the oven and cook for an additional 15 minutes. Start to drool in anticipation. Clean up drool. And Wyatt’s drool too while you’re at it, thanks.
Then it’s done! And freaking delicious. Not gamey, just lovely, just the way we like it.
Now eat people, eat! I’ve got plenty of chickens who would love your crusts.