Venison Meatballs And Brandied Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Venison meatballs and mushroom gravy
Venison meatballs and mushroom gravy - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Meatballs are a well-loved meal option that can be found all over the world, with each culture and cuisine putting their own flavor spin into this classic dish. While meatballs are most commonly made using beef in the West, there are a wealth of different and delicious ways to enjoy meatballs made from lamb, chicken, pork, and even turkey. However, this meatball dish, developed by Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye, is made using ground venison.

In taste, venison is similar to beef, except it is more gamey, with an even richer flavor. It is considered by some to be a more environmentally friendly choice of meat, as it is hunted not farmed, so no arable land is used in the rearing of the deer. It is also often thought to be a healthier alternative to beef, as it has a higher protein-to-fat ratio.

In this dish, the deliciously deep and gamey flavor of the venison is paired with a rich, creamy, and earthy brandy mushroom gravy, which combines perfectly to make a wonderfully decadent meal; ideal if you're cooking to impress, or if you simply like to enjoy the finer things in life. Delicious served with spaghetti, mashed potatoes, or even eaten on their own like the Italians do, why not give this recipe for venison meatballs with brandied mushroom gravy a try?

Read more: 20 Italian Dishes You Need To Try At Least Once

Gather The Ingredients For This Venison Meatballs And Brandied Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Ingredients for venison meatballs
Ingredients for venison meatballs - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

To begin this recipe for venison meatballs and brandied mushroom gravy, first, you will need to gather the ingredients. You will want to source ground venison meat; if your local supermarket doesn't stock venison, it's always worth checking at the butchers where they can also freshly mince it for you. To complete the meatballs, you will also require breadcrumbs, milk, onion, garlic, an egg, and some fresh rosemary.

For the brandied mushroom gravy, you will need shallots, mushrooms, brandy, heavy cream, and chicken stock.

Combine The Meatball Ingredients

Mixing venison meatballs
Mixing venison meatballs - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

The first step when making this meatball recipe is to make a panade. This technique is a simple way to make the meatballs really juicy because it adds lots of moisture before the cooking stage. To do this, simply mix together breadcrumbs and milk, and leave it to stand for 10 minutes.

As well as the ground venison and the panade, the meatballs will also contain onion and garlic. It's important to mince these, rather than simply chopping them. This is an easy way to make sure your meatballs don't have large chunks of vegetables in the mix. It will spoil the texture, and a large chunk of a strongly flavored ingredient like onion or garlic will be too overpowering, as well as not cooking so well.

Form The Meatballs

Rolling venison meatballs
Rolling venison meatballs - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Once the ground venison is well mixed with the panade, the minced onions and garlic, the egg, the chopped rosemary, and salt and pepper, it is time to form the meatballs. First, prepare a plate with baking paper to put the formed meatballs on, and then scoop out some of the mixture and roll it between your hands. To keep the size of the meatballs roughly equal, use a tablespoon to scoop the meat for each ball, and, you'll find that rolling the meatballs is easier with wet hands, as this stops the mixture from sticking.

Cook The Meatballs

Pan frying venison meatballs
Pan frying venison meatballs - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

With the meatballs formed, you can now turn your attention to cooking them. You'll want to fry them in cooking oil over medium-high heat; this process gives the meat heaps of added depth and also flavors the pan ahead of making the sauce. Thanks to a process called the Maillard reaction, the outsides of the meatballs get deliciously caramelized, not only making them taste irresistible but also giving them a beautiful, slightly crispy texture.

Once colored all over, remove the meatballs from the pan and set to one side.

Create The Sauce

Pouring stock into a pan
Pouring stock into a pan - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

With the meatballs browned, it's time to create the mushroom gravy. Start by frying the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic in the same pan as the meatballs, to keep in all of the delicious flavor. Once they have softened nicely, add the brandy. Let it simmer for a few minutes to allow some of the alcohol to boil away, before adding in the stock and then the cream. Drop the heat to low, and let it all simmer for a few more minutes, then add the meatballs back to the pan to allow them to finish cooking through.

Serve with your chosen side, and store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Venison Meatballs And Brandied Mushroom Gravy Recipe

Venison meatballs and spaghetti
Venison meatballs and spaghetti - Jennine Rye/Tasting Table

Prep Time: 20mCook Time: 45mYield: 4 PortionsIngredients

  • ¾ cup loosely packed breadcrumbs

  • 3 tablespoons whole milk

  • ½ onion, roughly chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, divided

  • 1.2 pounds venison mince

  • 1 egg

  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil

  • 2 shallots, finely chopped

  • ½ pound mushrooms, sliced

  • 4 tablespoons brandy

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • ½ cup heavy cream


  1. In a medium-sized bowl mix together the fresh breadcrumbs with the milk, and set aside for 10 minutes to form a panade.

  2. Add the onion and 2 garlic cloves to a food processor and blend to form a smooth mixture. Prepare a large plate with a layer of baking paper and set it to one side. Set out a small bowl or plate with some water on it and set this to one side as well.

  3. In a large bowl, add the venison mince along with the panade, the onions and garlic, the egg, the rosemary, and the salt and pepper.

  4. Using a spoon or your hands, mix the ingredients in the bowl together thoroughly until well combined.

  5. Using a tablespoon measurer, scoop out portions of the venison mixture and roll them into balls between your hands. This is easier with slightly wet hands to stop the mixture sticking, so use the bowl or plate of water to keep your hands slightly wet as you roll out the meatballs. Place formed meatballs onto the prepared baking paper covered plate.

  6. Once all the meatballs have been rolled, heat up the cooking oil in a large, heavy bottomed pan, to medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs for a few minutes each side to seal them and brown them, before removing them from the pan.

  7. Add the shallots and mushrooms to the pan, along with the two remaining garlic cloves, which should be minced. Fry the ingredients until soft.

  8. Add the brandy to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, before adding the chicken stock and then the cream.

  9. Return the venison meatballs to the pan and set the heat on low to allow the meat to finish cooking through. Serve hot once the meatballs are cooked and the sauce is thick.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.