By Josh Boyd
Perhaps the most wonderful characteristic of venison is that it is extremely diverse in its uses. This is especially true when speaking of ground venison, which can be substituted in place of ground beef, and even sausage, in almost any recipe imaginable. As a result, hunters are afforded a wealth of culinary opportunity, whenever they experience success in the fall woods.
One dish that few hunters associate with the use of venison is that of baked meatballs. However, those that have never sunk their teeth into such a savory creation are in for a treat. Spicy Baked Venison Meatballs can be eaten by themselves, or served over top of a heaping portion of your favorite Italian-inspired dish.
Preparing Your Ingredients
As with any dish, the ingredients used during the preparation of Spicy Baked Venison Meatballs all carry their own specific value and serve a vital role in creating a delicious final product.
Before cooking can begin, gather the following ingredients:
* 2 pounds ground venison
* 1 pound hot Italian sausage
* 1 ¼ cups bread crumbs
* 3 large eggs
* 4 teaspoon minced garlic
* 1-.6 ounce package of Zesty Italian seasoning (approximately 2 tbsp.)
Before You Begin
You will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees. These meatballs cook best when placed on cooling racks that have been set on cookie sheets. You can line the cookie sheets with parchment paper or foil for easier cleanup.
Preparing the Meat
In an appropriate size bowl, break up your ground venison and hot Italian sausage meat. Mixing by hand is the best way to thoroughly mix the two types of meat together. Once mixed, add your eggs and bread crumbs. Again, mixing by hand is an excellent way to fully incorporate these ingredients. Finally, add the minced garlic and Italian seasoning to the meat, stirring them in completely.
Gather up the cookie sheets that you prepared earlier. A small ice cream scoop is a great way to measure the appropriate amount of meat mixture to form your meatballs. Once you have measured your amount of meat, roll it gently in your hands to form a ball. If the meat wants to stick to your hands when rolling, lightly coat your hands with water.
Situate the formed meatballs on the drying racks that you have placed on the prepared cookie sheets. Space them out in an even manner, so that there is room between each meatball. Place the filled pan into the preheated oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes, being careful to not overcook. Once cooking has concluded, allow your meatballs to stand for a period of five minutes, before serving.
Spicy Baked Venison Meatballs are also simple and quick to prepare. With no more than a handful of easily procured ingredients, and an expenditure of less than an hour of time, you will be treating yourself to a dish that is undeniably rich in flavor. It is also simple to scale such a dish to any size that is desired. Batch sizes are only limited by the size of your oven, and your stockpile of ingredients.
One of the most notable attributes of Spicy Baked Venison Meatballs is that they can be served in a multitude of ways. They can be eaten by themselves, placed into a stroganoff, used as a topper for spaghetti, or included within a Parmesan bake. No matter how they are eaten, all who belly up to the dinner table are sure to be satisfied.