There’s nothing better than a heavenly hearty meal on a Sunday night. Mozzarella stuffed elk meatballs drowned in red wine tomato sauce served up with some fried basil and crusty bread. What else could you ask for? You could also make this dish using venison, beef or veal.
13/15 – 2 inch meatballs
- 1.5 lbs ground elk or venison burger
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 white onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves diced
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon rosemary
- 3 slices white bread without crusts
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 egg beaten
- ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- Mozzarella cheese balls (size of cherry tomatoes)
- 1 – 28oz. can diced plain tomatoes
- Fresh basil chopped
- ½ cup dry red wine
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add diced white onion and 2 diced garlic cloves. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, add thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper and then remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
- In a separate bowl tear bread into small pieces and soak in milk for 5 minutes. Squeeze milk from bread and place in another larger bowl. Add elk burger, egg, parmigiano-reggiano, onion mixture and mix with your hands.
- Take elk mixture and begin to form meatballs being sure to add a mozzarella cheese ball in the center of each meatball. The meatball sizes are up to you. You can make them small, medium or large depending on how you want to serve this dish up. Place meatballs on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Add remaining oil to cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Place each meatball into skillet and cook on all sides. Remove meatballs from pan when browned.
- Add ½ cup dry red wine to skillet to deglaze pan. Add canned tomatoes and ¼ cup fresh chopped basil. Bring sauce to a simmer, add meatballs and reduce heat to low. Continue to cook on low heat for 10 minutes.
- For a garnish, you can quickly flash fry some basil leaves in a little oil and serve up with crusty bread or a side of pasta. Trust me — you’ll love it!