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Recipe: Tarragon Venison Meatballs in Dijon Gravy

Recipe: Tarragon Venison Meatballs in Dijon Gravy

Fresh herbs are a great way to infuse flavor into venison. Tarragon has a distinct taste similar to licorice or anise. It is easily grown in the garden or fresh herb pots. The leaves are robust and hold up well to cooking to maintain flavor.

Deer, elk or moose meatballs are easy to make and freeze well for future use in hunting camps or when unexpected company shows up. Prepare a batch but do not overcook them, as they could dry out.

Dijon mustard is an excellent accompaniment for meat and comes in a wide variety of options. The thick, whole-grain mustard has some salt, but it is the acid that stands out. Vinegar or wine is used in different varieties to add a unique flavor. Some have more heat than others, so try new options and refer to the label for flavor notes.

Dijon mustard enhances the flavor of the thick gravy, just as it would in a sandwich or a dipping sauce.

Meatball Ingredients
• 2 lbs. ground venison
• ½ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 tsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
• 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp ground black pepper
• ½ tsp ground nutmeg
• ½ tsp ground allspice
• 1 large egg
• ¼ cup milk
• 2 Tbsp cooking oil

Dijon Gravy Ingredients
• 3 Tbsp salted butter
• 2 Tbsp flour
• 1½ cups beef broth
• 1 cup milk
• 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
• 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
• ½ tsp salt

Directions for Dijon Gravy
1. Melt the butter on the skillet. Whisk in the flour to create a roux, and cook until medium brown. Pour in the broth and simmer until thickened. Add in the milk, mustard, Worcestershire and salt, and bring back to a simmer until thick and creamy.

Directions for Meatballs
1. In a large bowl, combine all the meatball ingredients. Knead until uniform in appearance.

2. Roll the meat mixture into one-inch meatballs using enough pressure to remove any airspace. To help keep the meatballs firm during cooking, place them on a baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 10 minutes.

3. Heat the cooking oil in a large Camp Chef cast-iron frying pan. Sear the outer edge until brown and almost entirely cooked.

4. Put the meatballs into the gravy pot and bring contents to a simmer to ensure the meatballs are hot to serve.

5. Serve with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

For more delicious wild-game recipes, click here. 

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