Smoky Venison Jacket Potatoes

Smoky Venison Jacket Potatoes

While plain jacket potatoes (more commonly known as baked potatoes) with butter and sour cream are delicious, I like to load my potatoes with meat and toppings, turning them into a hearty meal. For this recipe, I chose to add ground venison and pork. The pork compliments the flavor of the venison really nicely and adds enough fat to prevent the meat from drying out. I season the meat with paprika, cumin and garam masala, which gives everything a warm, smoky flavor.

pork and venison cooking in a skillet

I also like to use ghee—which is a form of highly-clarified butter—instead of standard butter. Ghee has a stronger, nuttier flavor compared to other butters and oils, and it has a higher smoke point so it’s ideal for cooking over a hot, open flame.

In addition to the venison and pork mixture, you can top these potatoes with anything you like. Salsa, guacamole and cilantro are great options, or you can add cheese, onions and sour cream. The combinations are endless!

Toppings of fresh salsa and quacamole in a bowls set next to potatoes wrapped in foil

Smoky Venison Jacket Potatoes

Smoky Venison Jacket Potatoes

Yield: 6

Smoky Venison Jacket Potatoes

  • 6 large all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed
  • olive oil, for drizzling
  • sea salt
  • ghee, for cooking
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) minced (ground) venison
  • 300 g (101/2 oz) minced (ground) pork
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

Topping Ideas

  • butter
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese, such as mozzarella
  • 4 chives, snipped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • cilantro (coriander) leaves
  • hot sauce
  • 1/2 cup tomato salsa
  • 1/2 cup guacamole

Cooking Tools

  • Fire pit
  • Cast-iron frying pan


  1. Light your fire and let it burn down for about an hour until you obtain a medium heat.
  2. Place each potato in a square of foil. Drizzle with olive oil and scatter over some salt, then wrap up the potatoes and place in the coals of the fire. Cook for about 30 minutes or until soft, turning every 10 minutes.
  3. Place a large cast-iron frying pan on the hot coals. Add a generous dollop of ghee and let it melt, then add the venison and pork and cook, breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon, for about 5 minutes, until browned. Stir through the spices and cook until aromatic. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  4. Set your table and add your choice of toppings. Cut open the potatoes, spoon over the mince mixture and serve. Enjoy as the sun sets.

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