Let’s talk about gnocchi. Hailing from Italy, these little pillows of potato dumpling can be toasted in butter and tossed with cheese for a hearty side, or mixed into a dish like this Venison Cheeseburger Gnocchi.
You can make your own using this recipe, but high quality premade gnocchi is available in the pasta section of most grocery stores. Instead of the traditional boil first, then brown in butter method for cooking the dumplings, this recipe browns the gnocchi first then simmers it with seasoned ground venison and beef broth. The result? A hearty dish that makes a complete meal on its own.
3 tablespoons butter
2 (16 oz) package potato gnocchi
1 ½ lb lean ground venison
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon mustard powder
2 cups diced onion (about 1 whole onion)
3-4 cloves garlic
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
1 can beef broth (or water)
½ cup sour cream
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese divided
Start by melting butter in an oven-proof nonstick or seasoned cast iron skillet over medium heat. Toss the gnocchi often so that each dumpling is coated in butter. Continue to stir until the gnocchi are toasted brown. Remove the gnocchi from the skillet and set aside.
Turn the burner up to medium-high, add a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil if needed, and add the onions and ground venison. Continue to cook both until the venison is browned and the onions soft. Add the minced garlic and cook an additional five minutes. Add the salt and the rest of the dried seasonings and spices. Stir well.
Add the gnocchi back to the pan and pour in the beef broth and fire-roasted tomatoes. Cover the pan and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to thicken the mixture. Remove the lid and stir in one cup of cheese and the sour cream. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the surface of the pan and place under broiler for five minutes to melt the cheese and toast the top of the mixture.
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