Spicy Venison Meatballs

Prep Time: 2 Hours
Yields: 8-10 Servings

Often, when cooking venison, making tender meatballs can be an especially tricky task. This recipe will teach you the secret to making juicy, tender meatballs every time. It is a great appetizer for your next holiday feast or camp cook-out.

Ingredients for Meatballs:

1 pound ground venison
1 pound ground pork
6 eggs
1 cup minced onions
1 cup minced celery
1/4 cup minced garlic
1/4 cup chopped basil
1 and 3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsps salt
2 tbsps black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, combine venison and pork. Using your hands, blend meat well. Add eggs, onions, celery, garlic, basil, bread crumbs and cheese. Continue to blend, then season with salt and pepper. Fry a small patty of meat mixture in a sprinkle of extra virgin olive oil to test seasoning. Adjust seasonings if necessary. Roll meat into small cocktail-sized meatballs, about 1 and 1/2 inches in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet, cover and refrigerate. This recipe will make approximately 20 meatballs.

Ingredients for Sauce:
1 and 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 cups flour
3 cups diced onions
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced bell peppers
1/4cup minced garlic
2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (10-ounce) can ROTEL 
1/2 diced, seeded jalapeno
2 quarts beef or venison stock (see recipe)
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsley
salt and cayenne pepper to taste
granulated garlic to taste

In a 12-quart Dutch oven, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add flour and, using a wire whisk, stir constantly until dark brown roux is achieved (see roux recipes). Add onions, celery, bell peppers and minced garlic and saute for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are wilted. Add tomato sauce, ROTEL and jalapeno. Stir in stock, one cup at a time until desired thickness is achieved. Bring mixture to a rolling boil then reduce to simmer. Drop meatballs gently into sauce. Cover and simmer 30-45 minutes, adding water or stock if sauce becomes too thick. Add green onions and parsley and cook 5 additional minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and granulated garlic.  Serve hot as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre.