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Venison Meatballs With Pasta Ribbons


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  • 6 bacon slices cut 1/2" pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1/4 pound ground veal or pork
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese plus extra
  • for garnish
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
  • Creole Seasoning see * Note
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil plus
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 quart veal or chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 pounds fresh pasta ribbons
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions


Servings 4


Step 1

* Note: See the "Bayou Blast - { Creole Seasoning}" recipe which is included in this collection.

In a large sauté pan set over medium-high heat, render the bacon until crispy, about 4 minutes. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Add the onions to the pan and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until aromatic, about 2 minutes. In the bowl of a food processor, process the onions and garlic into a smooth paste, then set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl combine the venison and veal. With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the meats together on low speed. (Alternately, blend together the ingredients with a large wooden spoon.) Slowly add the bacon and onion mixture, and once incorporated, gradually add the buttermilk, breadcrumbs and cheese in stages. Add the salt, pepper, Essence, rosemary and sage, and blend thoroughly.

Form the meat into 20 even-sized balls. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil. Add the meatballs to the pot in batches and sear on all sides. Remove the meatballs and add the red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Pour the pan juices into a cup and reserve.

Add the remaining vegetable oil and flour to the pan and cook over medium heat to make a light brown roux, stirring constantly, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the veal stock to the pan and stir until the roux is completely dissolved. Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the sauce reduce for 15 minutes, then stir in the Dijon mustard and cream. Return the meatballs and reserved pan juices to the pot and cook for 20 minutes.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Add the pasta ribbons to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta, toss lightly with olive oil and keep warm.

Swirl the cold butter into the sauce and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve the noodles topped by meatballs and sauce, garnishing each serving with chopped green onions and grated Parmesan cheese.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

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