Home » Dinner » Elk Meatballs {I’m game!}

Elk Meatballs {I’m game!}

Elk Ricotta Meatballs

Elk Ricotta Meatballs

A visit to my sister’s house is never boring. The amount of hunting Linda’s husband and boys do is amazing, and their freezers (yes, two of them besides the fridge’s freezer!) are proof of their hunting successes. She knows I dislike the flavor of venison, but I’m game (and punny!) for any other meats. When she announced we were going to to make a jumbo batch of elk ricotta meatballs, I shouldn’t have been surprised.

Four hours later her freezer was about 300 meatballs fuller. That was a lot of rolling and frying! Her hubby processes his own meat, and mixed pork in with the elk because on its own it is too lean. We started out with 6 pounds of the elk mix. That’s a whole lotta elk!  We used my go-to recipe for ricotta meatballs and they became my new favorite meatballs.

Measure the ingredients into a large bowl

Measure the ingredients into a large bowl

We measured out the ricotta, parmesan, eggs, and seasonings.

Add chopped parsley

Add chopped parsley

We chopped the fresh parsley and added it to the bowl.

Mixing with hands worked best

Mixing with hands worked best

We tried to mix it with a large spoon and it was just not working well. Eventually I discarded my jewelry and just dived in with both hands, mixing until it looked well blended. That meat was cold! My hands were chilled and I had to stop to let them warm several times. My hands ended up bright red from the cold meat!

Mix well

Mix well

After washing and warming my hands, I used a cookie scoop to form the meatballs, laying them out on baking sheets. Linda rolled them smooth with her hands, then rolled them in flour and fried them in a nonstick skillet on the stove in batches.

Scoop into meatballs and place on sheet pans

Scoop into meatballs and place on sheet pans

Eventually I was done scooping and rolled the rest of them smooth as Linda fried. The four hours seemed to pass pretty fast, between keeping our hands busy and yakking away about our family news and dishing on the television series’ we both watch.

Roll the meatballs in your hands to smooth, then in flour

Roll the meatballs in your hands to smooth, then in flour

Linda would roll about a dozen balls in flour, then put them in the pan, turning until they were browned on several sides.  Her poor frying pan was dished out and didn’t fully sit flat on the burner, so it slowed her frying down by limiting her batches.  She made a note to buy a “decent” frying pan for future use!

Fry until  browned on several sides

Fry until browned on several sides

After we had the sheets tucked into a freezer, we took our “sample” dishes of meatballs and an iced tea drink down to the tv room to relax and watch a movie. Job well done!

Elk Meatballs

Elk Meatballs

Linda’s boys are both high school wrestlers and during the season they eat protein and avoid carbs. The meatballs are very easy for them to thaw in the microwave and eat during the times they’re cutting weight. Jordan has taken first in his weight at the state level for four years running, and we’re very proud of him!

I found the meatballs were very tasty even without any sauce on them. The ricotta and nutmeg alone makes them delicious. And of course the fact that we follow Michael Symon’s rule to make sure several sides of the meatballs are browned for that almost caramelized flavoring helps in the finished awesomeness.

Elk Meatballs

Elk Meatballs

When I called the other day to double check how many meatballs we had made, Linda was laughing. She said the boys were breading and deep frying them as we we spoke. They were thrilled with them that way also. I suggested they try a cornmeal coating, and she said she’d pass the idea on to them. Meatballs are very versatile, I think!

Elk Ricotta Meatballs

6 lbs ground elk which included about 1 lb of ground pork
10 cups of ricotta
6 cups Parmesan; shredded
6 eggs
1/4 cup parsley; chopped
3 teaspoons nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
Oil for frying

Mix well and form into meatballs with a scoop. Smooth with hands and roll in flour. Fry in a nonstick skillet on medium high with a tablespoon of oil until brown on 2 or 3 sides, about 4 minutes. Place in ovenproof dish or on a flat baking sheet.

When all meatballs are browned, bake in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.

Cool and freeze on sheets, then store in zippered freezer bags.

Approx 300 meatballsTiara Logo

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4 thoughts on “Elk Meatballs {I’m game!}

  1. Thanks for making these with me, Audrey! It’s so nice to have a big batch stored up in the freezer. Plus, I love that I can use up so much of the guys’ wild game at one time. They’re always harping on me to cook up and empty out the freezer come Fall when they start a new hunting season. This is the first year ever in my 24 years of cooking wild game that I’ve emptied out the freezer before they started throwing more animals in it.

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    • We had so much fun doing it too. P.S. was jealous I didn’t bring him home a few, I don’t think he’s ever tasted elk. He’ll have to bag his own elk some day to find out!

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    • The ricotta adds a lot of moisture and fat so you might not need to add much pork, if any. The pork was already added to their ground elk before it was frozen, so we just went with the usual amount of ricotta anyway. Good luck and thanks for stopping by! Let me know how the goat works out, it’s one of the few meats I’ve not tried.

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