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Dec 22, 2006 04:52 PM

Need a venison meatball recipe

I found a smallish packet of ground venison in the freezer from the last time my father-in-law bagged a deer. Meatballs seem to be the best way to make sure my family of 4 each gets a taste. Anyone got any great recipes to share?

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  1. Just made them yesterday. My wife is from Norway and we visit once a year. Her Grandfather makes these with Elk and I made them with venison, turned out good. Add milk to the ground venison and add some potato flakes, grated nutmeg, corriander and fennel seeds. S&P

    1. I made shepherds pie w/ ground venison at the suggestion of another hound. Turned out great(!) with layer of best summer frozen corn and mashed potatoes w/ egg yolks, butter & cream.

      I also just made some lasagne w/ venison sausage. Also yummy.

      And I never thought I'd eat (or cook!) venison.
      Guess you know you're in the country when not one but two friends bring you deer meat!

      1. I've got about 30 pounds of ground venison in my freezer, and most are earmarked for meatballs!

        What I use is about 1 - 2 eggs per pound (my eggs are usually smaller free-range; if you use supermaket x-Lrg, I'd go with just one), chopped onion to your taste - I use plenty for the moisture they lend to a very low-fat meat - and some bread crumbs to achieve the consistency you want.

        Season as you wish: I use venison in the Italian idiom for inclusion in red sauce dishes, for Russian meat pies(with onion, dill, chopped cooked beets and chopped cornichon - flattened, then lightly breaded and pan-fried)), for Swedish meatballs, etc. In other words - season to your dish. Venison is regional in flavor, i.e., if the venison is from forest-dwelling deer foraging on forest-growing *stuff*, it tastes much different from deer that have the opportunity to forage in corn or other grain fields. Stronger venison flavor takes stronger seasonings. Then again, some of us love the gamier flavor.

        Some people I know add some fattier ground pork to their venison to add some moisture. Some meat packers I know add fatback when they grind venison. You might want to find out if your deer meat has the added fat before you start adding binders and fatty elements. The venison I use is very lean, and not ground with other fats.

        I brown my meatballs in the oven on a sheet pan before simmering them in sauce. Try not to overcook them - you can end up with something excessively(!) dry.

        Think I might have to take some out of the freezer and enjoy. Hope you enjoy yours.

        1. Thanks everyone. I'll put these suggestions to good use in the future, provided my father-in-law can actually bag a deer next fall.

          I made the meatballs Christmas Eve, and seasoned the meat with an egg, breadcrumbs, a bit of Dijon, and some minced garlic and shallot. I browned them over moderate heat, and then made a sauce of beef stock with a bit of catsup, a couple of squirts of sriracha, a few pinches of brown sugar, black pepper, a glug of red wine, a few shakes of cornstarch and small spoonful of plum jam. I poured the sauce over the meatballs and let it reduce a bit.

          I was really happy with the flavors considering it was my first effort cooking game. We had a few leftover to share with my father in law Christmas Day, and he was really tickled.