Aired December 16, 2007
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus additional if needed
1 large onion, small dice
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon thyme, chopped
1 1/2 pounds ground venison (sausage can also be substituted, just eliminate the bacon)
1 green bell pepper, cut into small dice
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 cup chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup Asiago cheese grated, divided
3/4 cup provolone cheese shredded, divided
2 canisters biscuits (recommended brand Grands Jumbo)
2 mini muffin tins (16 count each)
Preheat oven 350F.
Preheat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook till golden brown then remove to a platter using a slotted spoon and reserve, leaving the fat drippings behind in the skillet.
While the bacon is cooking, preheat a medium-size skillet over medium heat with the EVOO. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until soft and caramel in color, about 10 minutes. Season with rosemary, thyme, salt and freshly ground pepper.
While the onions are carmelizing, add the ground venison to the skillet the bacon was cooked in and cook until brown over medium-high heat. If you need to add more fat to the pan, use about 2 to 3 tablespoons EVOO. While the meat is browning, break it up into small pieces so it is easy to fill the holiday popovers. After the meat is browned, season it with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then remove to the same platter along with the bacon and reserve.
Once the onion and garlic are nice and caramel in color, add the pepper, tomatoes, salt and freshly ground black pepper cook until peppers are soft, 5 minutes.
After the onion, pepper, tomato mixture has softened, add in the reserved bacon and browned venison. Sprinkle the mixture with flour then add the stock, let the mixture cook for a 2-3 minutes to cook out the flour taste and thicken up the gravy a bit. Remove from heat and fold in 1/4 cup Asiago cheese and 1/4 cup provolone.
Remove the biscuits from the canister -- you will have a total of 16 each -- and slice each of them down the middle so you have 2 thin biscuits that are equal in size. Repeat this procedure to all the biscuits so that you have 32 thin biscuit rounds.
Line the muffin tin with 1 biscuit per muffin cup so it makes a little bowl then fill them with 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of filling. Repeat with the remaining muffin cups and sprinkle the remaining Asiago and provolone on top of each popover. Bake for 20-25 minutes until puffed and golden brown, and cooked through.