Venison Meatball Stew

Source:  Rochelle Beerli circa 2017

Meatballs over rice, served with corn muffin
Meatballs over rice, served with corn muffin

Venison Meatball Stew

I’m venturing out of my little comfort zone with the hopes of finding some non-standard ways of cooking with venison. This wild deer venison meatball stew basically created itself.  As I mentioned in my previous wild post, this meat is extremely lean and is from the Fall, 2017. 

Meatball stew falls under the comfort food category. A warm dish, over rice with warm flavors of wild. Honestly, nothing warms you up better. I think the intensity from this meatball stew is enhanced by the fact that the wild venison is freshly ground. I’ve mentioned in other posts, the distinct difference cooking with fresh, self-made ground meat vs. store bought. It’s a flavor like no other, honestly.

Seasoning plays a strong roll here too. Pick yourself some wild-fresh oregano, or thyme and for sure have plenty of fresh, or fresh-dried rosemary on hand. The flavors from the garden are too many to mention, but what I do know is that I’d rather go with out the meatball stew if I don’t have fresh herbs. Don’t forget, if you’re self-grinding the meat fresh, grind with the herbs. You don’t need to wait to add them until it’s all ground up. More flavor is extracted and bound in the process. And, don’t forget the most important step when cooking any meatball, be sure you brown your meatballs before you put them into the stew. This helps to keep them in tact and prevent them from falling apart.

Venison Meatball Stew

I serve this over a parboiled medium grain rice, or if you prefer, you could serve it along side with a risotto. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Meats
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 5 people


  • 1 to 2 lbs ground venison
  • 5 to 6 large mushrooms crimini for this recipe
  • 2 to 3 TBS herbs rosemary, oregano, sage-dry or fresh
  • 2 cloves garlic minsed
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 cup bread crumbs or more if needed
  • 1 large onions diced for meatball mix
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 to 5 medium carrots peeled and cut
  • 2 to 3 stocks celery diced
  • 1 large onion diced for stew base
  • 3 TBS olive oil to sautee
  • 1 can diced tomatoes


  • Get your meatball base all together in a large metal mixing bowl.
  • Add mushrooms (I like adding the mushrooms to the wild meat-I think it compliments the taste nicely and adds additional texture to the final product)
  • Add your spices and form the balls. 
  • Cook the balls until browned, but not cooked through. Take them out,
  • In the same pot that you browned the meatballs in, begin your stew sauté.  Sauté the onions, carrots and celery and garlic until they begin to soften.  Add your tomato can content and bring to a medium boil.  Put the cooked meatballs in the stew, put the lid on, and bring the temperature down to a nice simmer, stirring gently, and allowing to cook and flavor up for at least 30 minutes. 
    Prepare your side dish, either rice or pasta, or polenta. 
  • Serve over the rice (or whichever side dish you’ve chosen)
  •  and compliment with a nice cornbread muffin.


Find the cornbread recipe here.
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