Whether you have your deer processed or you do all the processing yourself inevitably some of the meat ends up hamburger. If you process your own venison and you don't own a meat grinder you can make your own hamburger with a little elbow grease and a good knife. Just take a hunk of venison and begin cutting it up into small pieces removing any sinew or marble as you go and before you know it you have a pile of finely chopped venison. This is perfect for any recipe that calls for ground venison.
If you have your deer processed see if your processor can add some sausage to your ground venison just for recipes like this one then your ready with one package. Now that we have the meat ready let's get started.
shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheese blend
1 pound ground or chopped venison
½ pound Sausage
1 medium onion (chopped)
½ green bell pepper (chopped)
2 cans (15 ounce) pizza sauce
¼ teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 box of elbow macaroni
garlic salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1 cup milk
Preparing The Meat: First thing to do is to get a pot of water boiling for the pasta. The recipe lists macaroni but any type of pasta will work just keep the amount around 8 ounces. I have used all kinds of pasta for this recipe even spaghetti and they all work fine. Brown your meat in a skillet while you prepare your other ingredients. I like to start with the sausage. Venison is very lean and the sausage will add a little fat to the skillet and help keep your venison from sticking. Cut up your pepperonis or leave whole if you like then add them to the skillet. Cook the meat until browned all over. The meat will cook another 35-45 minutes in the oven so there is no need to cook the meat til done just brown it and you'll be fine. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Preparing the filling: While your meat browns chop your onion and bell pepper and add them to the meat to cook a little before adding the pizza sauce. Now focus on your meat and vegetables and keep them stirred so it all cooks together. When the onion becomes translucent add the oregano, italian seasoning, garlic salt and pepper to taste and stir them in allowing the spices to meld into the meat and vegetables really helps the flavor to distribute evenly throughout your casserole. Check your pasta making sure it is done but not over cooked. Making sure the pasta is done keeps it from soaking up your sauce allowing for a juicier filling. When done set the pasta aside to drain.
Putting It All Together: Mix the egg and milk together then combine it with the two cans of pizza sauce in a bowl and stir well. This will warm the milk and egg a little. I never like to add cold ingredients to hot. Once the milk and egg mixture has been stirred into the pizza sauce add it to the skillet with the meat, vegetables and spices and stir until simmering. Now add your pasta to the skillet and combine it all well and bring it back to a simmer then turn off the heat. The egg and milk help to make the filling creamy as well as helping to bind the ingredients in the casserole.
In a large casserole dish pour the hot ingredients into the dish and spread evenly throughout. With your oven preheated to 350 degrees slide your casserole in and set the timer for 10 minutes. This casserole is already cooked but with so many ingredients it will take a while to heat evenly throughout usually 45 is about right. Notice I didn't add the cheese on top for the first 10 minutes. I have found that with large casseroles, like this one, adding your cheese from the start only burns the cheese on top and I like my cheese nice and gooey.
After the 10 minutes is up remove the casserole and sprinkle the cheese on top covering it completely then return it back to the oven for another 25-35 minutes. Just keep an eye on the cheese and remove the casserole when it's thoroughly melted. This dish is very filling so don't let that delicious aroma cause you to take more than you can handle. A couple good sides for this dish is jalapenos and sour cream along with some breadsticks.