A few things I love: being able to freeze portions of meals, easy dinners, and deer meat. This one hits all three! And my family is obsessed with them.
I get a lot of people who ask me for ideas of how to cook up their husbands deer meat and this one is perfect, especially if you are weary of the taste. But don't worry if you only use beef, that totally will work as well. And if you are feeling frisky, try them with turkey or chicken.
These are shown below as meatball open sammies (yum!) but you can use them for ANYTHING. I have served them as a charcuterie style dinner at the soccer field alongside sliced cheese, crackers and fruit, on sub-sandwich rolls, in spaghetti, with butter noodles. They are a perfect solution to creative dinners packed with protein.
Before you get into this one, let me line out a few tools that you will want to have ready:
- Two large cooking sheets with parchment paper (or you may use stoneware trays)
- Cheese Grater
- Large Mixing Bowl
- Freezer zip lock bags (or vacuum seal)
2lb Ground Meat (Venison, Beef or Turkey)
4Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 small yellow onion
4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup Italian seasoning blend
2Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 & 1/4 cup breadcrumbs *divided
Makes approximately 48 medium sized (1.5 inch) meatballs.
Let's Get Cookin!
1) Place thawed meat into a large mixing bowl. Use a utensil to spread it out to a semi-even surface that covers the bowl bottom. You can even get fancy and make a little meat 'bowl' to start off.
2) Add your two eggs, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic to the bowl.
3) Using a cheese grater, finely grate your onion. I do this right over the top of the big bowl. It does take a little bit of time and can get a little messy, but the juice (literally) is worth the squeeze with this.
4) Add the Italian seasoning, Montreal Steak Seasoning and 1 cup of your breadcrumbs to the bowl. Keep the extra 1/4 cup nearby.
5) Mix all the ingredients together with a large spoon or fork, and then mix some more using your hands to really get everything mixed well.
6) Using your judgment (fingers and eyes) add more breadcrumbs a little at a time to get the best consistency. Your mixture should look and feel wet, but should be thick enough to form a smooth ball that holds it's shape. I ended up using close to the 1/4 cup to get to the sweet spot.
7) Pre-heat your oven to 375 degrees and get your baking trays prepped if you have not already.
8) Start scooping out your meatballs by hand, and roll them in between your palms to get your shape. I form them into approximately 1.5 inch balls. Set them on the cooking sheets in neat rows with a little room between each.
9) Bake for 20-25 minutes. If you like to check them with a thermometer, you are looking to reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. I use two trays that I know will hold a lot, but can fit in my oven side by side as well. If you need to, cook them in batches.
10) Serve hot or cool them off to store!
I usually plan on 5-6 meatballs per adult and 2-3 per kid. This recipe usually yields 48 meatballs and is enough for three meals for our family of four.
For Open Sammies:
Grab a garlic bread loaf from the freezer section and cook it according to the directions. Warm up the meatballs in a pan or microwave. Grab a jar of Rao's pasta sauce and warm that up in a small pot on the cooktop. When the bread is done, slice it into 4-5 inch sections, top with meatballs, then sauce, and sprinkle your favorite Italian cheese on top!
TIP for freezing:
Allow the meatballs to cool, then place them flat on a freezer safe tray and stick them in the freezer for about 30-45 minutes. This will firm them up and help keep them from getting squished together when you vacuum seal them into bags. When you are ready to use them, thaw them under warm water then prep with your meal as needed.
Enjoy! And be sure to leave me a note if you love this recipe.