A hotdish a Minnesotan could love (and venison fans, too)

If you grew up in Minnesota, you’ve probably eaten venison, that is, deer meat. Because in Minnesota, deer hunters are as common as the concept of Minnesota Nice that inspires them to share their harvest.

Such is the method by which I find myself with some venison. I’m not a hunter, but I know one who’s willing to share: My 14-year-old nephew who shot an 8-point buck this season.

I passed on the venison steaks, but my Adored Stepson snagged some venison jerky sticks and my Beloved and I were the happy recipients of venison sausage.

When I got home today from a week celebrating Thanksgiving in Minnesota, I assembled the following dish with the contents of my pantry including a can of sauerkraut, which is considered a staple by anyone with German ancestry (thanks to the FamilyCookbookProject.com for the inspiration). You might call it a “bake” but a true Minnesotan would use only “hotdish” to describe this medley.

It was delicious, and if you don’t have venison sausage, try kielbasa.

Thanks, Drew, for sharing!

venison hotdish

Venison Sausage Hotdish


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound venison sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 1 15-ounce can sauerkraut, drained
  • 1 pound frozen hash browns
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In large skillet heat olive oil, add sausage and sauté. Remove sausage and set aside.
  3. Add onion to pan; season with salt and pepper. When onion has softened, sprinkle in flour and cook for about 30 seconds. Whisk in chicken stock, milk and mustard. Bring it to a boil to thicken, reduce heat and add sauerkraut and sausage.
  4. Transfer mixture to casserole dish and top with hash browns and cheese. Bake in oven about 30 minutes until bubbly and potatoes have cooked through.

One response to “A hotdish a Minnesotan could love (and venison fans, too)

  1. I think it sounds great! Your dad is truly amazed! He is also impressed that you knew Drew shot an “8” point buck.

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