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Pork & Venison Meatballs

This recipe has some wonderful flavor combinations-- pork and venison, ginger and cherries-- but fear not, it's inspired by the fabulous Amy Thielen, the chef and author behind The New Midwestern Table. The lean venison mixes perfectly with the richer pork, and the fruity mix-ins balance the flavor overall.

 1 onion, diced
 2 tbsp butter
 1 lb ground pork
 0.50 lb ground venison
 1 tsp garam masala
 0.50 tsp each: cinnamon, smoked paprika, salt
 0.25 tsp pepper
 1 inch knob fresh ginger, finely grated
 2 large cloves garlic, finely grated
 0.33 cup rolled oats
 1 egg yolk
 3 tbsp cilantro stems, minced
 0.50 cup dried mixed fruit (cherries, raisins, prunes all work well) minced

Assemble all your ingredients (this is the hardest part!) and turn your oven to 375.


Caramelize the onion in the butter over low heat for 20 minutes or so, or until golden and very soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.


Mix all ingredients, including the cooled onions, together in a big bowl, by hand, smushing the mixture between your fingers and kneading like dough. Shape small meatballs by hand, rolling between palms, and space evenly on sheet pans.


Bake 30 minutes, or until no longer pink inside.