I'm lucky to live where I can buy locally raised bison. I love it's nutritional value as well as it's leanness. That being said, it needs support from other ingredients in a meatloaf recipe to yield juicy and full flavored results. Fresh breadcrumbs, grated vegies and cottage cheese keep everything moist, the various peppercorns and dijon add tanginess, and the bacon and chipotle contribute a smoky quality without baking this indirectly on a grill . Using my pressure cooker speeds up the process (the only way I make meatloaf any more) and making two small loaves so I can freeze one is also labor saving (we are after all only two in this house)! —Amber Olson
grated root vegetable of your choice (potato, carrot, rutabaga, parsnip)
nice size shallot, finely diced
large egg, beaten
large clove garlic, minced
cottage cheese curds, drained of excess moisture
1 1/2 teaspoons
kosher salt flakes
coarsely ground mixed peppercorns (pink, green, white and black)
Put first eleven ingredients in a large bowl and stir together with a large fork until well combined. Add the ground bison and gently mix the meat with everything until it is incorporated well. I use nitrile gloves to mix this up.
Mound the meat into two mini loaf pans. Blend some of the Tabasco Chipotle into the tomato paste to your taste. Spread equal amounts on top of loaves. Top with bay leaves pressed into the paste.
Put a trivet in the bottom of a 5 quart pressure cooker, add 12 ounces of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Place mini loaves on top of trivet, lock on lid and bring to pressure over high heat. Depending on your unit, cook at the proper pressure for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure drop naturally. Remove lid, allow loaves to rest a few minutes before serving.
Alternatively, you can mound the meat into a greased 4 1/2" x 8" loaf pan (a 5" x 9" is a bit too big for 1# of meat) and cook in a 350 degree oven for 1 hour; check internal temperature with a thermometer, it should read 150.