The key to making a stellar Meat Boat comes down to two things—a crusty bread and some ground wild meat. What at first may look like an involved dish is actually a fairly quick and hearty meal that will soon become a well-used wild game home cooking gem.
While we opted to use ground Fallow Deer for this recipe most any ground wild game will do just fine. Leaner meats will ensure the bread remains crisp instead of soaking up undue grease and becoming soggy.
We always prefer to use wild game over store-bought as Fallow Deer and many horned and antlered game are not just hunting trophies but also delicious game meat. That being said, we won’t judge if you want to substitute ground beef.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 75 minutes
1 loaf of Vienna bread or other crusty bread (bonus points for homemade)
1.5-pounds of lean ground wild game meat
1 can of tomato soup or 1-pint of homemade tomato soup
2 tablespoons of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 clove of garlic, minced
Pepper to taste
Prep and Bake
Cut the top of the crust off the bread, leaving the ends and base intact so that it is similar in shape to a canoe. Remove the inside of the loaf by hand and break the interior bread into small pieces. In a large bowl, combine the bread pieces into the raw meat along with the soup, salt, pepper, and onion. Mix well.
While the mixture rests, melt the butter and use it to coat the inside of the bread crust, including the top that was removed earlier. Next, put the meat mixture into the hollowed-out loaf of bread. Now is the time to add any additional seasonings you may desire before topping with the original top crust of the loaf. Those who like heat may opt to also add a few shakes of their favorite hot sauce to the meat.
Wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 350-degrees Fahrenheit for one hour.
Serve and Enjoy
Once baked, the Meat Boat is sliced into serving sizes and plated hot and delicious. The finished product should be a nice, hard, and crusty bread exterior with a juicy, tender wild game meat interior. A nice local vegetable like fresh asparagus makes the ideal side dish, as does a light salad.
The Meat Boat’s filling is neither wild nor spicy but a new kind of comfort food. All that’s left is to pop the cork on a nice red wine—or the beverage of your choice—and toast this simple and unique culinary treat.