Savory Venison Meatballs – A Rich & Flavorful Recipe

Are you looking for a hearty and delicious meal that will impress your dinner guests without requiring hours of work in the kitchen? Look no further than my recipe for Venison Meatballs in Red Wine Sauce. This recipe takes the classic dish of meatballs and spaghetti to the next level by incorporating tender venison meatballs and a rich red wine sauce.

My love for this recipe comes from its versatility. It can be served as a cozy family dinner or fancied up for a dinner party. Plus, it’s perfect for those chilly fall and winter evenings when you crave something warm and satisfying.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it is made with humble ingredients that you may already have in your pantry. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to create an impressive and delicious meal. With just a few simple steps, you can make the very best venison meatballs in red wine sauce that you’ve ever tasted – guaranteed.

So, are you ready to add something new and exciting to your dinner routine? Grab your apron and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Venison Meatballs in Wine Sauce
Venison Meatballs in Wine Sauce

Have you been looking for a dish that is both hearty and palatable? Look no further, because this Venison Meatballs in Wine Sauce recipe is the answer to all of your meatball cravings.

What makes this recipe so special is the choice of venison meatballs. Unlike beef or pork, venison has a leaner texture that results in a more tender meatball. When combined with the robust flavors of the red wine sauce, the result is a dish that will leave your taste buds singing in satisfaction.

But let’s not forget about the sauce itself. Made with a combination of Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and chicken stock, this red wine sauce is jam-packed with flavor. And if you’re wondering what wine to use- Pinot Noir is the best option as it adds depth and character to the sauce.

Not only does this recipe deliver on flavor, but it’s also flexible and accommodating to substitutions and variations. For instance, you can use ground beef instead of ground venison or pair your meatballs with a plum or tomato sauce instead of red wine sauce.

In summary, this Venison Meatballs in Wine Sauce recipe offers tender venison meatballs smothered in a delicious and flavorful red wine sauce. Whether you’re cooking for yourself or entertaining guests, this dish is guaranteed to please even the most discerning palates.

Ingredient List

 Savory venison meatballs simmered in a rich wine sauce
Savory venison meatballs simmered in a rich wine sauce

Here are the ingredients you will need to prepare these delicious venison meatballs in red wine sauce:

  • Venison Meatballs: 1 pound ground venison, 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 garlic clove (minced)
  • Red Wine Sauce: 2 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 garlic clove (minced), 3/4 cup red wine (Pinot Noir recommended), 1/4 cup chicken stock, salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • Olive Oil, for frying meatballs.

Make sure to have these ingredients on hand before you start cooking. If you can’t find ground venison, you can substitute it with ground beef or a mixture of both. Also, feel free to adjust the amount of spices and seasonings to your liking.

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready for a gourmet feast with these venison meatballs
Get ready for a gourmet feast with these venison meatballs

Now that we have listed all the ingredients needed to make these delicious and tender venison meatballs in a red wine sauce, it’s time to get cooking! Here is a step-by-step guide on how to make this recipe.

Step 1: Preparing the Meatballs

  1. In a mixing bowl, combine 1 lb of ground venison and 1/2 lb ground beef. This will give the meatballs their unique flavor and juiciness.
  2. Add 1/4 cup of flour, 1 finely chopped onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 tsp of black pepper into the bowl.
  3. Mix all the ingredients well until they are well-combined.
  4. Roll the mixture into small balls about 1 ½ inches in diameter. You should be able to form about 20-22 balls.

Step 2: Cooking the Meatballs

  1. Heat up 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the meatballs to the skillet and cook for 3-4 minutes or until they are browned on all sides. You may need to do this step in batches if your pan is not large enough.
  3. Remove cooked meatballs from the pan and set them aside.

Step 3: Preparing the Sauce

  1. In the same skillet you used for meatballs, add another 1 tbsp of butter and melt it.
  2. Add another quarter of chopped onion to the pan with one tablespoon of flour and mix until combined
  3. Slowly pour in ¾ cup of dry red wine while mixting everything together
  4. Add in ¾ cup chicken stock, 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, and 2 tbsp tomato paste. Stir until everything is thoroughly combined
  5. Let everything simmer for about 8-10 minutes on low heat to allow the sauce to thicken.
  6. Add the cooked meatballs back into the skillet and spoon the sauce over the top.
  7. Allow everything to simmer together for another 5-7 minutes.

Step 4: Serving

When you’re ready to serve, ladle the meatballs and sauce over plates of pasta, mashed potatoes or even spaetzle.

This recipe is perfect for a cozy night in, and it’s easy to make with just a few key ingredients. Try it out and taste for yourself why these tender venison meatballs in red wine sauce are a crowd pleaser!

Substitutions and Variations

 A perfect winter recipe to warm up and indulge
A perfect winter recipe to warm up and indulge

Looking to put your own spin on this delicious venison meatballs in wine sauce recipe? Here are some substitutions and variations to consider.

– Meat: While venison works wonders in this recipe, you can substitute it for ground beef or any other ground game meat of your choice. You can also use pre-made meatballs, but keep in mind that they may cook at a faster rate than homemade ones.

– Wine: Pinot Noir is the recommended wine of choice for this recipe; however, you can swap it for any full-bodied red wine you prefer. Consider a Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot for a richer, bolder flavor. If red wine isn’t your thing, white wine will work too.

– Vegetable: You can substitute the onion with finely chopped shallots or leeks to add a subtle sweetness to the dish.

– Spices: To add more depth of flavor to the dish, try adding fresh herbs like thyme or rosemary. You can also sprinkle in some red pepper flakes for some heat.

– Sauce Variations: The venison meatballs red sauce can be substituted with tomato sauce or plum sauce, which will bring a different sweetness to the dish. You could also whip up some Swedish meatballs and serve them over spaetzle with gravy made from Worcestershire sauce and chicken stock.

By experimenting with these different substitutions and variations, you can make this recipe truly your own while still enjoying the tender venison meatballs in red wine sauce.

Serving and Pairing

 These juicy meatballs are sure to steal the show at your next dinner party
These juicy meatballs are sure to steal the show at your next dinner party

These tender venison meatballs served in a red wine sauce make for an elegant and flavorful dish that works well with a variety of sides.

To complement the bold red wine flavor of the dish, I would serve it with creamy mashed potatoes or buttery egg noodles mixed with parsley.

For a lighter option, you can pair the meatballs with a crisp green salad. The acidity in the salad is a great way to balance out the richness of the sauce and meatballs.

If you want to take things up a notch, pair this dish with a full-bodied Pinot Noir. The wine’s earthy and fruity notes play beautifully with the rustic flavors of the venison and savory sauce.

Overall, these delicious venison meatballs are a versatile dish that pairs well with many sides and drinks, making it perfect for any dinner party or special occasion.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 So delicious, your taste buds won't believe it's homemade
So delicious, your taste buds won’t believe it’s homemade

As a busy sommelier, I understand the importance of maximizing your time in the kitchen. Luckily, this venison meatballs in red wine sauce recipe can be prepared ahead of time and stored for later consumption.

To make ahead, simply prepare the meatballs and sauce as directed in the recipe, then transfer them to airtight containers or bags. The meatballs will keep well in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for up to three months.

When you’re ready to reheat the meatballs and sauce, there are a few options depending on what works best for you. If reheating individual servings, simply microwave or heat on the stovetop until heated through.

For larger portions, I recommend reheating the meatballs and sauce together in a large pot or Dutch oven until heated through. This will ensure that everything gets evenly reheated without becoming overcooked.

If you find that your leftover meatballs have become dry after reheating, try adding a little extra chicken stock or tomato sauce to the mix to loosen things up. And if you’re looking to switch things up, try serving your leftover venison meatballs with spaetzle or mashed potatoes instead of pasta.

No matter how you choose to reheat and serve these tasty venison meatballs in red wine sauce, you’re sure to impress your guests with their tender texture and rich flavor.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Add a touch of elegance to your dinner table with this wine-infused meatball recipe
Add a touch of elegance to your dinner table with this wine-infused meatball recipe

Making venison meatballs in red wine sauce can be a delectable treat when done right. But, like any recipe that involves cooking with red wine, it can also pose some challenges. Fear not, for I am happy to share with you some tips that will help you achieve perfect results every time you make these tender venison meatballs in red wine sauce.

1. Use ground venison and beef

For the best venison meatball recipe, I recommend using a combination of ground venison and beef. The beef adds flavor and fat to the leaner venison meat, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful meatball.

2. Be gentle when forming the meatballs

When forming the meatballs, try not to overmix or overwork the meat. Be gentle when shaping them so that they remain tender and juicy when cooked.

3. Brown the meatballs before adding to the sauce

To add flavor and texture to your meatballs, take the extra step of browning them on all sides before adding them to the wine sauce. This will help seal in the juices and create a crispy exterior.

4. Don’t overcrowd the pan

When browning the meatballs, ensure there is enough space between them in the pan so that they don’t steam or stew in their own juices. Overcrowding can result in uneven cooking and a loss of flavor.

5. Use a good quality red wine

The sauce’s flavor is largely determined by the type of wine you use. For this recipe, I recommend using a Pinot Noir for its fruity aroma and light body that complements the delicate flavor of venison.

6. Let the wine reduce gradually

When making red wine sauce, let it reduce gradually over low heat for 30-40 minutes until it thickens and deepens in color. Do not rush this process as it allows flavors to intensify and gives it its signature taste.

By following these tips, you will surely create mouthwatering venison meatballs in red wine sauce that are sure to delight your taste buds.


Now that you’ve learned how to prepare these delicious venison meatballs in wine sauce, you might have a few questions about the recipe. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers to help you out.

What wine is best for venison meatballs?

If you’re looking for a wine with a flavor profile that’s dominated by plummy and peppery notes, a good choice to consider is Argentinean Malbec.

What wine to cook venison in?

Pairing wine with Venison can be challenging given its richness, gamey flavor, and lean meaty texture. However, after much exploration and experimentation, it has been found that Pinot Noir wines complement Venison meat’s flavors perfectly. When serving Roast Venison, it is best to avoid selecting a wine with too much tannin, and instead, opt for a mature Red Burgundy to truly enhance the Venison’s unique taste.

How long to cook meatballs in sauce after browning?

For those who crave a bit of crispiness in their meatballs, browning the exterior in a skillet is a suggested addition before smothering them with sauce. This step is entirely discretionary. Once covered in sauce, the meatballs can be cooked on low heat for 6-7 hours or on high heat for 3-4 hours.

How long to keep meatballs in sauce?

When it comes to cooking raw meatballs in sauce, the amount of time needed can vary depending on the type of meat used. Beef meatballs, for instance, require more patience as they take longer to become tender. It’s recommended to have them simmering, covered, in the sauce for around one to one and a half, or better yet, two hours. On the other hand, pork meatballs require less time, as they only need approximately 45 minutes of simmering to be fully cooked and infused with the flavors of the sauce.

Bottom Line

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In conclusion, this Venison Meatballs in Wine Sauce Recipe is an absolute must-try for anyone who loves a hearty and flavorful meal. The combination of tender venison meatballs and rich red wine sauce creates an explosion of flavors in your mouth that will leave you craving more. This dish also pairs well with a glass of Pinot Noir, which enhances the flavor of both the meatballs and the sauce.

Not only is this recipe delicious, but it’s also versatile. You can easily customize it by using different types of ground meat or by adding your favorite vegetables to the sauce. Plus, it’s easy to make ahead and reheat for busy weeknights or for dinner parties.

Whether you’re an experienced cook or a novice in the kitchen, this recipe is straightforward and easy to follow. So why not give it a try? I promise you won’t be disappointed. The tender venison meatballs in red wine sauce will impress anyone at your dinner table, and it might even become a new family favorite. So grab a bottle of red wine and get cooking!

Venison Meatballs in Wine Sauce

Venison Meatballs in Wine Sauce Recipe

I tweaked this recipe from several recipes at the bbc; zaar 6.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine European/Game
Calories 360.8 kcal



  • 1 lb ground venison
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, fresh ground


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, cut in rings
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup mixed mushrooms, diced
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 cup red wine


  • Mix venison, onion, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, flour, and black pepper together for meatballs.
  • Form mixture into small balls.
  • Bake the meatballs at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes until just done but still soft .
  • For the sauce, melt butter in a pan; fry onion and garlic; add mushrooms.
  • Add meat balls and juice.
  • Fry 5 minutes; add wine; simmer until sauce thickens.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 207gCalories: 360.8kcalCarbohydrates: 12.9gProtein: 26.5gFat: 19.8gSaturated Fat: 11.2gCholesterol: 121.3mgSodium: 203.9mgFiber: 1.3gSugar: 2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Deer, European, Meat, Wild Game
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