Sunday, January 2, 2011

Venison Meatballs

I found this great meatball recipe from this little pamphlet-type cookbook I had tucked away in the cabinet.  Meatballs make a great appetizer for any party or family gathering.  And for me, if I'm going to use some kind of meat, I want it to be organic and free-range. 

A customer from hubby's work is an avid deer hunter and said he always has tons of venison available, all we had to do was ask him for some.  So ask away we did.  And boy did he deliver! The first time we asked, he brought us a couple packages of deer burger and a couple deer steaks.  This time though when we asked for more, right before Christmas, he brought us a huge box least 10 pounds of deer burger, several pounds of steak, and even a roast!  And all for FREE!!  My husband said the venison Santa had arrived!

And doesn't get more organic and free-range than that! When the meat is processed properly it shouldn't have a gamey taste.  It is also fairly lean and healthy as meats go.  Yet its still juicy and very flavorful.

So as an appetizer to take to my mom's house for Christmas Day, I made venison meatballs.  And they were oh so tasty! Even my dad, who himself is an avid deer hunter and all-around-outdoorsman-extraordinaire, was quite in love with these meatballs! Here below, you'll find the recipe to try them yourselves.  Of course if you wanted you could easily use ground beef or any other kind of ground meat instead of the venison as well.

Ingredients:  2 eggs lightly beaten, 1 cup (4oz) shredded mozarella cheese, 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, 2 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese, 1 TBSP ketchup, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp dried basil, 1 tsp salt, 1.4 tsp pepper, 2 lbs lean ground venison
For the SAUCE: 1 bottle (14 oz) ketchup, 2 TBSP cornstarch, 1 jar (12oz) apple jelly, 1 jar (12oz) currant jelly

In a bowl, combine the first 11 ingredients.  Add venison and mix well.  Shape into balls and place on a baking sheet.  Bake at 350 for 10-15 minute.  Remove and drain if necessary.  In another bowl combine ketchup and cornstarch, then add jellies.  Combine meatballs into sauce.  Then you can either bake them for another 30 minutes in the sauce or put into a crockpot on low until ready to serve.

This recipe yields about 8 dozen but can be easily halved or doubled.  The meatballs can be made well ahead of time and refrigerated overnight or even frozen until ready to serve.  But its best to wait to make the sauce until you're ready to do the final baking or place in crockpot.

1 comment:

  1. oh i wish i had a venison Santa. But i think our local store where carries it. The last picture looks so yummy. I have some friends coming over for dinner this weekend this is perfect for that.