We live in the Great Northwest and there is an abundance of wild game around here. Two years ago I found myself suddenly stocked with 65 lbs of venison after my husband got his first deer. I was at a loss as to what to do with ALL THAT MEAT! Especially because the gamey taste of venison is not my favorite. Are you right there with me? I know I’m not alone! I began researching and experimenting and I finally created these appetizing meatballs!
A couple tips as to why these meatballs will even go over well with your picky eaters: 1) Because I am one of those picky eaters and I approve! 2) The soy sauce, toasted minced onions, and garlic really mask the gamey flavor 3) The teriyaki sauce that I created below is truly the finishing touch for this dish to win over the skeptics.
What You Need:
1 lb Venison or Elk (for the non-game version use lean Ground Beef)
1 lb Ground Turkey or Pork (do not use Turkey Breast, it will be too dry)
½ Cup Bread Crumbs
Splash of Milk
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tsp Toasted Minced Onions (From Penzey’s Spices)*
1 tsp granulated garlic
1 Tbsp Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
A handful of chopped Fresh Parsley
*If you do not have nor do you want to purchase the toasted minced onions you can saute and cool some sweet onions and add to your mixture. HOWEVER, I highly encourage you to check out Penzey’s Spices https://www.penzeys.com or their store location in Clackamas, Oregon.
What You Do:
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands. Don’t even attempt to use a spoon; it will take for-ev-er and you won’t achieve the same mixture. Use gloves if raw meat bothers you.
Cover a large plate or sheet pan with wax paper.
Use either a cookie scoop or spoon to scoop meatball mixture into your hands.
Once you have rolled out the meatballs, place them in the freezer for 15 minutes to firm up.
In a large pan heat ¼ inch olive oil on medium heat. Add the meatballs and brown on “each side”. Does that make much sense when they are balls? Well it will make sense when you are doing it! *TIP: Use LONG tongs to turn your meatballs over to the other side to brown. I even use an oven mitt and the long tongs because I don’t want to be splattered with hot oil.
Remove meatballs from the heat and place in a baking dish. Now you can either eat them right away (with the Teriyaki sauce below) or allow to cool and then freeze them for use later! If you freeze the meatballs just remove from the freezer and toss them in your favorite sauce. Heat until meatballs are hot all the way through.
Using the Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce recipe below create the sauce, pour over the meatballs, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees to ensure they are thoroughly cooked.
Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce
1 ½ cups water
¼ Cup soy sauce
¾ Cup brown sugar
1 tsp granulated garlic
3 Tbsp corn starch
¼ cup fresh pineapple juice (you can use canned if you are not using a fresh pineapple for the chunks)
*Reserve 1 cup fresh, chopped pineapple
*For a spicier version add 1 tsp dried red chili flakes.
My husband LOVES pineapple so I created this special sauce for him and it has quickly become a favorite. There is NO point in buying Teriyaki sauce when you usually have these ingredients in your pantry- minus the pineapple but without the pineapple you are still making a yummy sauce.
Here’s What You Do:
In a small saucepan combine all ingredients; place over medium heat. Continually whisk as to not burn the sauce on the bottom. *TIP: due to the high sugar content you can quickly and easily scorch the sauce. Don’t step away for too long!
Bring to a slow boil as you continue to whisk for 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to rest and thicken.
Top your meatballs in your baking dish with the fresh, chopped pineapple.
Finally, pour the Teriyaki over all of the meatballs.
You can cook these meatballs with a variety of sauces so toss them in your favorite BBQ, Marinara, or Teriyaki sauce! Speaking of Teriyaki sauce, follow my recipe before for my easy Pineapple Teriyaki Sauce.