Venison Stuffed Mushroom Caps

This recipe came from

One of the few things that is actually known about the 1621 feast is that the Wampanoag brought five deer to share with the Pilgrims. Talk about good guests at a potluck. No Two Buck Chuck and store bought dinner rolls for these guys. Whether they knew it or not, this was a really smart diplomatic offering on the part of the Indians. In England, venison was only available to be hunted on the land of the gentry. It is was actually illegal to buy or sell it. Only the very rich had access to it, and it was a definite mark of class.

Mushrooms also grew wild around Plymouth Colony, and the Wampanoag showed the Pilgrims which ones were edible and which ones would kill you. Considering that only 53 of the original 102 emigrants were still living by the first Thanksgiving, any advice that aided in staying alive was pretty valuable.

Stuffed mushrooms as an appetizer weren’t really something you would have seen until the 20th Century, but they would have made wide use of both the main ingredients.

1/2 pound ground venison

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon allspice, ground

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

salt & pepper (be generous with both of these)

2 packages white mushrooms

Preheat the oven to 375 Degrees Fahrenheit. Mix the venison, oil and spices in a bowl. Set aside. Wash the mushrooms, and pat dry with a towel. Remove the mushroom stems, place mushroom caps in a baking dish and spoon the meat mixture into the caps. Put enough meat in each cap so that the meat peeks over the top. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the meat is cooked through. Serve immediately.


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