Wild Game Wednesday: Tuscan Venison Meatballs
Did you know the benefits of eating venison far outweigh the benefits of eating beef? Venison is organic and natural, and free of hormones, chemicals and antibiotics so commonly found in beef. On average venison is higher in protein, has less saturated fat, and fewer calories than beef. It’s even considered a complete protein because it contains all 10 of the essential amino acids. Eating four ounces of venison provides 68.5% of the daily value of protein, 50% of the daily dietary reference intake (DRI) of iron, 30% of the daily DRI of Vitamin B6 and 80% of the daily DRI for Vitamin B1. Those benefits lead right into our overall health, reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes, regulating metabolism, helps keep energy levels high, it’s great for muscle building, and prevents anemia due to its high iron levels!
Venison can be found in every region of that state making it a great local, healthy and sustainable food choice. If you’re considering trying venison out, check out this week’s recipe and try these yummy venison meatballs!
Tuscan Venison Meatballs
2 LBS. ground venison
10-16 balls of fresh Mozzarella Cilligene
¼ CUP diced red onion
½ CUP chopped artichoke hearts
½ CUP re-hydrated and chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 TBSP. fresh, chopped garlic
½ CUP grated Parmesan cheese
1 CUP Panko breadcrumbs
3 TBSP. red wine
3 TBSP. Worcestershire sauce
2 Fresh, lightly beaten eggs
1 CUP olive oil
½ TBSP. Kosher salt
1 TBSP. blended ground pepper
4-8 CUP Marinara sauce
- Add ground venison to the bowl of a tabletop mixer. Using the paddle attachment, stir meat on medium speed for 40 seconds. Turn off mixer and add red onion, artichoke, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.
- Mix on med-high until meat structure begins to pink and soften. Turn mixer to low and blend in eggs, red wine, and Worcestershire sauce. Once incorporated, return mixer to med-high for 30 seconds. Turn off mixer and add Panko breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. Gently move mixer back onto medium speed. SLOWLY drizzle olive oil into venison mixture until protein structure fully elongates, pinks and softens, and all oil is absorbed.
- Take 3-4 oz. of venison mixture and roll into a meatball and flatten into roughly ¼” thick disk. Place one Mozzarella Cilligene onto center of disk and roll venison mixture up and around, fully wrapping the cheese. Place onto plate and repeat for remaining mixture.
- Meatballs can be cooked immediately or wrapped with plastic and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Warm olive oil in a deep nonstick sauté pan and add meatballs to the warm pan, browning all sides. Once browned cover meatballs with 4-8 cups of your favorite room temperature Marinara sauce.
- Place in oven and bake until both meatball and marinara reach 155°.
- Serve over warm spaghetti or with toasted Focaccia bread.
Check back every Wednesday for a new Wild Game Dish recipe, proudly used by MUCC’s Gourmet Gone Wild program! If you’re looking for more wild game and fish recipes check out the MUCC online store and purchase a copy of Wild Gourmet!
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