Wild Recipes

Elk Meatloaf Stuffed with Mushrooms, Onions, and Cheese

Latest posts by Lindsey Bartosh (see all)
4.0 from 1 vote

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The end of daylight savings marks the slow, dark march towards the Winter Solstice, also known as the shortest day of the year, and that march is difficult. Arriving and departing work in the dim lighting plays tricks on the mind, and add in the cold temperatures and your body isn’t quite sure how to function anymore.  

Seasonal winter cliches start popping up everywhere come the first of November: comfort foods, warm peppermint anything drinks, and mulling spices fill the air. I used to think I was just following the crowds by indulging in the many cliches of winter, kind of like pumpkin everything come fall, but after careful contemplation I actually find winter cliches to be coping mechanisms to survive until the passing of the Winter Solstice.

Since that realization, I fully embrace the arrival of comfort food season as a necessity, and on that list of necessary comfort food is meatloaf. Comfort food is the combination of fresh, filling flavors with patience and time. The dishes are not overly complex and do not require extensive cooking skills or knowledge. Instead, comfort food dishes offer the opportunity to embrace the dark, cold winter evenings by warming up the house with the soothing aromas of herbs and spices and the knowledge you have nowhere else to be and nothing else to do other than to leisurely build this soul-warming meal. 

Serving Size: 6 servings
Time to make:  1 hour and 30 minutes
Also works with: deer, moose, pronghorn, bear

Looking for more meatloaf recipes? Try this Blue Cheese Venison Meatloaf!

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Elk Meatloaf Stuffed with Mushrooms, Onions, and Cheese

Recipe by Lindsey Bartosh
4.0 from 1 vote
Course: Wild Recipes


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  • Ingredients Meatloaf
  • Two pounds ground elk meat

  • 6 Slices Italian Style Bread

  • 1/2 Cup Milk

  • 1 Tablespoon Fennel Seed

  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Oregano

  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme

  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Sage

  • 2 Teaspoons Dried Rosemary

  • 1/2 Cup Tomato Juice

  • 6 Cloves Minced Garlic

  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard

  • 3 Eggs

  • 3 cups Dried Breadcrumbs, such as Panko

  • 8 Ounces Baby Portabella Mushrooms

  • Caramelized Onions

  • 2 Cups Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese

  • Ingredients Caramelized Onions
  • Two Large Onions, Sliced

  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

  • 1 Tablespoon Salt

  • Ingredients Mushroom Thyme Gravy
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

  • 8 Ounces Mushrooms

  • 1/2 Large Onion, Sliced

  • 1 Tablespoon Flour

  • 2 Cups Beef Broth

  • 2 Teaspoons Apple Cider Vinegar

  • 1 Tablespoon Cornstarch with 1/2 Cup Water

  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Minced Thyme

  • Salt and Pepper to Taste


  • Instructions for Caramelized Onion
  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the sliced onions and allow to cook, slowly, for ten minutes.
  • After ten minutes, sprinkle the onions with the salt. Stir and allow to cook for an additional twenty minutes.
  • Stir the onions occasionally. You will know they are finished when the onions are translucent and slightly browned on the edges. They should taste sweet.
  • Instructions for the Meatloaf
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • In a medium bowl, break up the six Italian bread slices. Pour the half cup of milk over the bread and allow to soak. Set aside until ready to use.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add two pounds of ground elk meat. To the ground elk meat, add the fennel seed, sage, rosemary, oregano, and thyme. Mix everything once with hands.
  • To the large bowl, add the minced garlic, tomato juice, and Dijon mustard. Mix again.
  • Finally, add the eggs and soaked breadcrumbs. MIx everything thoroughly. Now start adding the dried breadcrumbs cup by cup until desired consistency is reached. Meatloaf should be moist but hold together when formed into a ball in your hand.
  • Spread the meat mixture onto a piece of wax paper, forming a large rectangle about an inch thick.
  • On top of the meat mixture, lay the cheese, mushrooms, and caramelized onions. Using the paper to help you, roll the meat and toppings in a loaf and set on baking sheet.
  • Bake in preheated oven for one hour.
  • Instructions for the Mushroom Thyme Gravy
  • In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and allow to sauté for eight minutes.
  • Add the sliced onions and cook an additional three minutes.
  • Sprinkle the flour over the mushrooms and onions. Using a whisk, dissolve the flour entirely in the juices and oils of the pan. Cook for one minute.
  • Slowly add the beef broth and whisk constantly while adding. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and allow to simmer for ten minutes.
  • Mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with three tablespoons of water. Slowly sad the cornstarch mixture teaspoon by teaspoon until the gravy reaches desired thickness and is glossy.
  • Remove from heat and add apple cider vinegar and fresh minced thyme. Season with salt and pepper.
  • To plate, cut yourself a beautiful slice of meatloaf and drench in mushroom gravy.
  • Enjoy!

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Lindsey Bartosh

Lindsey Bartosh lives in southeastern Utah where she spends her time hiking, biking, hunting, and fishing. She runs a website, huntingandcooking.com, and also a weekly radio show about seeking, pursuing, and processing wild game.

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