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Venison Meatballs

Spaghetti & meatballs is a classic dish- here’s our take.

We’ve used venison here, it’s as lean as can be, and has a fantastic gamey taste.

Ingredients (makes 10-12)

By the way, you can buy ready-made meatballs and no one will judge you if you do but just incase you want to make your own, this is how I do it.

For the balls 

250g minced venison steak

1 egg

60 ml milk

100g breadcrumbs (I admit I used dried here but fresh would be better if you have some day old fresh bread knocking around)

35g grated parmesan

1 crushed garlic clove

1 tbsp olive oil


For the ragu (or sauce if you aren’t fancy)


1 tbsp olive oil

1 finely chopped onion

4-5 whole garlic cloves (adjust to your own preference)

1 X tin chopped tomatoes

4 X vine tomatoes (just chop them roughly)

1 X tbsp tomato purée

1/2 bottle red wine

1 tsp each of dried oregano and herbs de Provence

1 X tbsp Scarlett & Mustard Blackcurrant & Star Anise Curd



Now I did this in the slow cooker but I have also tried it on the stove and it works just as well.  Either way, you can make the sauce in advance and warm it through when you are ready to cook the balls. 

Prepare yourself for what to do next as its for the experienced chef only…

…In a slow cooker – throw all the sauce ingredients in, stir, season and put on low for around 4 hours.

On the hob – fry the onions and whole garlic cloves in a large pan until just starting to turn golden, add all the other ingredients, season, and then simmer on a low heat for around an hour until the sauce has thickened.

For both methods, once the sauce has thickened blend until smooth (if you used the slow cooker you may wish to then give the sauce 20 minutes on the hob if it isn’t thick enough for your liking).


Whisk the eggs and milk together in a bowl. Add the minced venison, breadcrumbs, parmesan and garlic and combine well.

Shape the meatball mixture into golf ball size balls.

Place the balls in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (this will firm them up and make them easier to fry later).

To bring it all together

Heat the oil in frying pan over a high heat.  Fry the balls for around 8-10 minutes until golden-brown all over.  Go gently with them and they shouldn’t break apart.

Add the balls to the sauce (if you used the slow cooker transfer the sauce to a large pan first) and simmer for around 5 minutes until the balls are cooked through.

To eat!

Cook your favourite spaghetti or tagliatelle (dried or fresh) according to the instructions on the packet.

Toss the sauce and balls through the hot pasta and serve with shredded basil and grated parmesan (if you want).

For more of Lisa’s amazing recipes and tasty serving suggestions see her blog: or follow her on twitter: @intrepidveggie

Venison Meatballs
Posted 15.12.15