We get constant requests for venison meatball recipes. The best meatball recipes follow the most traditional Italian recipes substituting venison mixed with 20% ground pork. Below is an adaptation of a Mario Batali recipe:
3 cups day-old bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 pound ground venison, 1/4th pound ground pork
3 eggs, beaten
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup pecorino, grated (or parmesan cheese)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (be careful not to burn!)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Cover bread crumbs with water and soak for 20 minutes. Drain the bread cubes and squeeze out extra moisture.
In a large bowl, combine the bread, beef, eggs, garlic, cheese, parsley, pine nuts, salt, and pepper and mix by hand just until mixed (do not over-work the meat!). With wet hands, form the mixture into 12 to 15 large meatballs, each of a size somewhere between a tennis ball and a golf ball.
In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet, heat the oil over high heat until almost smoking. Add the meatballs, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and cook until deep golden brown on all sides, about 10 minutes per batch. Serve warm or at room temperature.