Dinner, Main Dishes, Moderate, Video, Wild Game

This is a television feature piece I did recently on venison.  Click continue reading for the recipe.


For the meatballs:

1 pound ground venison, buffalo or beef (if using beef omit the pork but use 1 1/4 pound of beef)

1/4 pound ground pork belly or ground pork

1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/4 cup cream

3 teaspoons sesame seeds

1 teaspoon caraway seeds

2 teaspoons poppy seeds

1 teaspoon ground rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon marjoram

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

For the sauce:

1 quart venison stock or 1 quart  good quality low sodium store bought beef broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon parsley

1 tablespoon shallot

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water ( optional )

1. Place the bread crumbs into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.  Add the cream and let the bread crumbs soak up the liquid.
Add the rest of the sausage ingredients to the mixing bowl and using clean hands mix the ingredients thoroughly.  Form the ground venison mixture into golf ball size meatballs.  I like to use a scoop to do this.  Place the meatballs onto a parchment lined sheet tray with edges.  You can store the meatballs in the fridge, covered, until you are ready to bake them.
To make the sauce, place a sauce pan over medium high heat.  Add the wine let it come to a boil.  Let the wine reduce to a tablespoon or so.  Add the shallots and the stock.  Let the stock come to a boil and reduce it (to about 2 cups) until it starts to thicken.  
2. Whisk the mustard into the sauce.  Remove the sauce from the heat but keep it handy.
Heat the oven to 325˚ F.   Slide the meatballs (uncovered) into the oven and bake them for 25 to 30 minutes.  If you have been storing the meatballs in the fridge and they are cold add 5 to 10 minutes to the cooking time.
About 5 minutes before the meatballs finish cooking place the sauce back onto the heat, If you want a thicker sauce bring the stock to a boil, add the cornstarch/water slurry and bring the sauce back to a boil to thicken.  Add the parsley and stir.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.


Eastern European “Style” Venison Meatballs


6 thoughts on “Eastern European “Style” Venison Meatballs

  1. Nicely done, Tom! A friend gave me some venison and I am going to try these tonight. I can’t use breadcrumbs and I don’t have cream on hand, so I’m going to add some ground pine nuts – fingers crossed!


    • Thanks! The breadcrumbs I used were gluten free. I just don’t even say it anymore because everyone will shy away from the recipe. Nevertheless the bread crumbs won’t be missed. I only add them to make the meatballs a little more tender. It will be great with pine nuts or even almonds.


      • These turned out great, Tom! The pork really helped the venison and I made a tomato-mushroom-kale ragout with a little sweet-sour kick that was a nice accompaniment. Thanks for the inspiration!


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