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Smoked Venison Italian Meatballs

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#1 Leo


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Posted 01 October 2009 - 11:30 AM

Simple recipe but the technique is what brings out the best in it.

Smoked Venison Italian Meatballs

Main Ingredients
1 lb lean ground venison
1 lb Hot Italian Ground Sausage (Jimmy Dean)
2 eggs

Add venison and sausage to a large mixing bowl.
Add the two eggs.
With wetted hands gently but thoroughly mix meat and eggs together. (ONLY DO THIS STEP BY HAND! Utensiles or automated mixing equipment will make the meat extremely tough and rubbery. Utensiles or automated mixing equipment ruins the texture on meat that has already been ground. Over working ground meat makes it tougher not more tender.)

Prepping the meat to make the meatballs.

This part takes a little finess. Too much bread crumbs and your meatballs will fall apart. Too little bread crumbs and the meat will be too sticky too form into neat balls. Egg sizes and meat moisture content varies so there isn't any "perfect" amount that works everytime. You have to carefully work up to the right amount. It's really not hard to do.

Working Ingredients (IMPORTANT! You might need to use more or less than the specified amounts of the below ingredients, don't just dump these ingredients in. Follow the instructions to determine the proper amounts.)

1/4 cup Italian Bread crumbs (Have more handy if you find out you need it.)
1/4 cup of salt in a small bowl (This is only used when actually forming the balls.)

Keep a bowl of water nearby to wet your hands in while you're doing this.

I start by sprinkling the top of the meat in the bowl with a thin layer of the bread crumbs. I then work the bread crumbs into the meat by hand. The meat will start to feel more formable. See if you can form some into a 1 1/2" diameter ball (golf ball size). If it sticks to wet hands too much to make a ball sprinkle another layer of breadcrumbs on the meat and work it in. Try to make a ball again. Repeat until you can easily roll the meat into a clean 1 1/2" ball. The ball should hold together well and not stick to wet hands. With practice you won't have to make a test ball in between adding each layer. You'll know by feel when the right amount of breadcrumbs has been added.

Using the salt and finally forming your meatballs.

Get enough meat from the mixing bowl to make a 1 1/2" diameter ball. Put 1 little pinch of salt in the meat and form the meat into a ball. I honestly don't know why, but that little pinch of salt seems to really help the meatballs hold their shape. One pinch of salt per ball.

Place the balls on a non-stick cookie sheet or aluminum foil that's been sprayed with cooking spray. The main thing is to use what will fit in your smoker.

I only smoke them for about 1 hour. After smoking, I put them in a crockpot with a couple jars of spaghetti sauce. I set the crockpot on low and wait an hour before I start eating them.

These meatballs are good on spaghetti or a meatball sub. On the meatball subs I put the meatballs and sauce in the sub roll and put a couple slices of mozzarella cheese on top. I microwave the sub for about 30 seconds just to melt the cheese.
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#2 Rowdy Yates

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Posted 02 October 2009 - 10:32 AM

Man em I glad it's lunch time cause after reading this you made me darn famished for a sub. Subway here I come. Posted Image Good recipe Leo. I might give this one a try with of the fallow deer burger if yet to open in the freezer. Posted Image
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