Thursday, February 13, 2014


Hey! This is our 100th post!  Hard to believe it's been a year already!

Back in January, we wrapped up our twelfth month of eggnog (but don't be surprised if a few new recipes pop up here and there), and we thought it would be fun to embark on a new egg-related journey.  We've been experimenting on and off for a while, and we decided that strata is a much more versatile dish than it usually gets credit for.  There's the standard ham strata that we grew up on, Reuben strata that we wrote about last March, and a butternut squash strata that we made in the fall but never blogged about.

But really, there's no limit to what can go into a strata, provided we restrict the discussion to edible things food items. (Any Get Fuzzy fans out there?)  Other than bread, cheese, and a sort of eggnog-type liquid, one can really let their culinary creativity loose on a strata.  (Get 'em, boys!)

So we thought we'd start our second hundred posts with a new theme for using up even more excess eggs from the backyard flock.  (Since we know that no one is tired of eggnog or freaked out about drinking it year-round.)

If you noticed the title, you may be wondering at this point, 'what does all this have to do with Vacation Bible School?'  The answer, of course, is that VBS can also stand for 'Venison Broccoli Strata.'  Let's see how Katie did it!

She started with a bunch of bread slices.  Strata is also a good way to use up bread experiments that didn't quite work out, like if it's too crumbly or didn't rise enough.  Save the crumbs!  They'll come in handy later.

These are the rest of the solid ingredients.  Clockwise from upper left: 0.75 lb browned ground venison, 3-4 cups cooked broccoli, 3 cups shredded cheese (or so), and 1 cup sautéed onions.

Grease a 9" x 13" pan, then stratify them like so--bread, meat, vegetables, cheese, then repeat for the second story.  It's generally recommended to use a thicker layer of cheese than what's shown in the picture.  We can usually get two layers of everything, but we slice our bread pretty thick.  If you're lucky, you might be able to get three layers.

Then beat together 2.5 cups milk and 4 eggs.  (Or 3 cups milk and 6 eggs if you got 'em.)  It's kind of like eggnog!  Add pepper, salt, garlic powder, dry mustard powder and sage to taste.  It's no longer like eggnog.  Pour it as evenly as possible over the layered stuff in the pan.

Aha!  This is where the bread crumbs come in handy!  Mix about a cup of them with 0.25 cups (half a stick) of melted butter, and spread them on the top.

Lookin' good!  We usually let it soak in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

Then bake it at 350 °F for 50-60 min, until nice and toasty on top.  Mmmmm.

The nice thing about it is, strata is a complete meal!  All the food groups are covered (except dessert).  We cut our pan into eight pieces, and one piece is definitely enough for our supper.

The recipe:
Enough bread for 2-3 layers in a 9" x 13" pan (for us, 12-14 slices of collapsed bread)
0.75 lb ground venison, browned
3-4 cups cooked broccoli
3-4 cups shredded cheese (cheddar or other flavorful flavor)
1 cup chopped sautéed onions
2.5-3 cups milk
4-6 eggs
salt, pepper, garlic powder, mustard powder, and sage to taste (for us, 0.5 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon each of the rest)
1 cup bread crumbs
0.25 cup melted butter

Layer bread, venison, broccoli, onions, and cheese in a greased 9" x 13" pan until pan is full.  Beat together milk, eggs, and spices, pour over the layers (in the pan, not your chickens).  Coat bread crumbs in melted butter, add to pan.  Bake at 350 °F for 50-60 min, until cooked through and toasty brown on top.

Have you made strata before?  What kind did you make?  Do you prefer strata or eggnog?  Let us know in the comments section below!

1 comment:

  1. So, I'm not the only one that thought you were blogging about Vacation Bible School for some odd reason? :)

    Looks like a delicious recipe, Jake! I may just have to try this tonight! (Oh, and don't let me forget, I have some venison products for you next time you're in state.)