Venison meatballs with grapes, apple and mushrooms
( SERVES 4 )
One innovation I embrace regularly is the Silver Fern Farms meat packs, which are available throughout the country. The venison and lamb packs are generously portioned for two and in ready-to-cook cuts that are made even easier to use if you follow the recipe on the pack. I used venison packs to create these easy recipes. Remember that venison is a healthy lean red meat with no visible fat, so it needs minimal cooking. Serve it rare, so it remains juicy.
|500 g||Venison, minced|
|½ cup||White breadcrumbs|
|6 Tbsp||Olive oil|
|1||Onion, finely chopped|
|1 tsp||Ground cumin|
|4||Sage leaves, chopped|
|1 to taste||Salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|8 slices||Streaky bacon, cut in half|
|1 to taste||Parsley, sprigs for garnish|
- To prepare the meatballs, place the venison in a large bowl. Put the breadcrumbs in a cup and add the milk. Leave to soak. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a small frying pan, then gently cook the onion and cumin until soft and turning golden – about 4-5 minutes. Cool slightly before adding to the venison with the breadcrumbs, sage and egg. Season with salt and pepper.
- Mix well by hand, then with wet hands form the mixture into 16 meatballs each a little larger than a golf ball. Wind bacon around each meatball and secure with a toothpick.
- Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan, then cook the meatballs over a gentle heat until brown. Do not overcook; they should be juicy inside. Keep the meatballs warm while you make the sauce.
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a frying pan, then add the butter. Once it has melted, add the onion and mushrooms. Gently cook until golden, then turn up the heat and add the apple slices. Cook for a minute, tossing constantly, before adding the stock and thyme. Leave to simmer and reduce slightly before seasoning to taste.
- When ready to serve, add the meatballs and the grapes and toss well. Garnish with parsley sprigs.