There are a many ways to prepare ground venison. Ground venison is very flexible and by adding a few spices you can really change its flavor profile. One of our favorite ground venison dishes is venison meatballs. Over the years, this recipe has evolved. In the beginning, we treated the meat as if it were beef, but it still tasted a bit too gamey. So over the years we added ingredients until we came up with these amazing gourmet venison meatballs. A tradition Italian meatball is made with veal, pork and beef. With that thought in mind, we combined venison with beef and pork to make a spectacular meatball.
1 lb each of ground beef, pork and venison
1/2 cup of plain bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp dried parsley
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 tbsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
Marinara Sauce, waiting patiently on your stove
In a large bowl, combine the 3 ground meats. Add the bread crumbs, parmesan, egg and seasonings. With clean hands (or I sometimes use gloves) mix all of the ingredients together until well combined.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with olive oil (I personally hate to scrub dishes, so I also line the baking sheet with aluminum foil). Shape into meatballs that are about 2″ in diameter. Don’t mind those few sausages that joined the meatball party, they were just waiting to be used in the freezer!
Place on baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, turning once during the baking time. After 30 minutes, remove the meatballs from the pan and place directly into the sauce. Simmer in the sauce for another 30 minutes or until the meat is thoroughly cooked through and absorbed some of the sauce.
Serve over your favorite pasta, or if you want to take it to the next level, put the meatballs and a little sauce in a 13 x 9 baking pan, cover with mozzarella, and pop under your broiler for a few minutes. After the cheese is melted and lightly browned, you will have made an amazing meatball parmigiana!
When we make a dish for the first time, we always spend time talking about what changes need to be made. We can spend an hour after a meal thinking of the right changes to make. We enjoy the conversation and usually the wine as much as the food. A great meal is always more than a sum of its parts. It is the hard work that went into the harvest, The time spent cooking, and the great company that we enjoy.