Italian Style Venison Meatballs

Weeknight dinner prep can be a challenge. This is especially true when the days start getting shorter and colder as fall begins to turn to winter. A long day of work, darkness already setting in, and now it is time to make dinner? That just does not sound as fun as it should be. This recipe can change that!

Italian style venison meatballs are the perfect prepare ahead and freeze for weeknight dinners kind of meal. You make them on Sunday afternoon, freeze them, and when you are dragging through a Thursday, boom, dinner! Plus, as they are already cooked and you just need to boil some pasta and a sauce to your liking, you can uncork a bottle of wine and enjoy finishing up dinner prep.

What should you uncork? Honestly, whatever you would like to drink. We won’t judge. If you want a wine that we think pairs beautifully with these meatballs, try our Mataro. With its deep, rich, tannic, and somewhat spicy character, it is an ideal match to game stews, or slowly braised red meat, and these tasty venison meatballs. Our Super Dorado would also be excellent here.

Mataro wine is made from a red thick-skinned grape varietal also known as Mourvèdre among many other names. Like a cabernet, Mataro is best paired with big flavor and that’s exactly what you are going to get out of these meatballs.


Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. ground venison
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork (or Italian Sausage)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs (or fresh)

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the onion. Sauté for about 4 minutes and add the garlic, red wine vinegar, Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Cook until lightly caramelized.
  3. Add the onion and garlic mixture to a large bowl with the venison, pork, egg and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Use your hands, get in there, get a little messy.
  4. Scoop the meatball mixture out into even balls with about 1.5 tablespoons in each ball.
  5. Place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the meatballs are golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Remove any fat that has rendered off the meatballs.
  7. Add them to your favorite sauce, or freeze them on a flat baking sheet and store in a large bag for easy use on a worknight.

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