Venison Meatballs in Dried Cherry Sauce

Recipe from

Oxmoor House


1 pound ground venison
1 pound ground beef
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice
1/4 cup minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 (3-ounce) packages dried cherries
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup Merlot
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 (14.5-ounce) cans beef broth


Crumble ground venison and ground beef into bowl of a heavy-duty mixer; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt, pepper, and allspice. Add 1/4 cup onion and next 5 ingredients; mix thoroughly at low speed. Shape mixture into 1" meatballs.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add meatballs in batches, and cook until browned, turning often. Remove meatballs from skillet with a slotted spoon; set aside and keep warm.

Cook chopped onion and celery in pan drippings until golden. Add chopped garlic; cook 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium; stir in tomato paste. Cook until paste begins to brown. Stir in cherries and next 6 ingredients; cook over medium-high heat, scraping bits that cling to bottom of skillet. Bring mixture to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced by about half. Add broth; return to a boil and cook 15 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat; cool slightly, and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

Pour sauce into container of an electric blender; cover and process until smooth, stopping once to scrape down sides. Pour mixture back into skillet through a wire-meshstrainer. Add meatballs to cherry sauce. Bring sauce to a boil; reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until meatballs are thoroughly heated. Transfer meatballs and sauce to a chafing dish. Serve warm with wooden picks.

Christmas with Southern Living 2000,

Oxmoor House

January 2000