Barbecued Venison Meatballs

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This is a recipe that comes to us from the Amish community of Flat Rock, Illinois.  This is a New Order community situated about 90 minutes due northwest of Evansville, Indiana.  Deer-hunting is a popular pastime there among the Amish. Interestingly, women will take up rifles to go hunting here just as much as the men.  Venison finds its way into all sorts of meat dishes, including this meatball dish.  I tasted this:) and I can attest it is as good as it looks!  Here is the recipe:


Serves 6 to 8

The barbecue sauce, which carries a hint of tang and a suggestion of sweet, smothers any “gamey” taste to this local delicacy.

3 pounds ground venison

1 3 /4 cup milk

1 cup quick oats

1 cup cracker crumbs

3 eggs

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon onion salt

1 teaspoon garlic salt

Salt and pepper



2 cups ketchup

3 /4 cup brown sugar

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon vinegar

1 1 /2 teaspoon liquid smoke

In a large bowl, combine the ground venison, milk, oats, cracker crumbs, eggs, and seasonings.  Stir or knead until the meat mixture is well-combined.   Shape the meat into   1 1 /2 inch balls.  Place the balls on cookie sheets and bake at 350°F  until no longer pink inside, approx 15-20 minutes.

In a Dutch oven, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, mustard, vinegar, and liquid smoke.  Stir until well-combined and heat over medium, stirring frequently, until near boiling Add the meatballs to the sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until ready to serve.

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