sketch of Bob above the Venison Meatballs In Dried Cherry Sauce recipe.

VENISON MEATBALLS IN DRIED CHERRY SAUCE

1 lb. ground venison
1 lb. ground beef
2 t. salt
2 t. fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 t. ground allspice
1/4 c. minced onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chopped fresh parsley
2 t. chopped fresh thyme
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 egg white, lightly beaten
3 T. vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T. tomato paste
3 pkg. (3 oz. ea.) dried cherries
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 t. salt
1 c. Merlot wine
3 T. balsamic vinegar
2 cans (14.5 oz. ea.) beef broth

Crumble the ground venison and ground beef into a bowl of a heavy duty mixer; sprinkle with salt, pepper and allspice. Add onion and the next 5 ingredients mixing thoroughly at low speed. Shape mixture into 1 inch meatballs. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat til hot, add meatballs in batches and cook til browned, turning often. Remove meatballs from skillet, with a slotted spoon, set aside and keep warm. Cook chopped onion and celery in the pan drippings til golden. Add chopped garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomato paste. Cook til paste begins to brown. Stir in cherries and the next 6 ingredients cooking over medium high heat, and scraping the bits that stick to the bottom of the skillet. Bring mixture to a boil and cook til liquid is reduced by about half. Add broth, return to a boil and cook 15 minutes or til liquid is reduced to 2 cups. Remove from heat; cool slightly and discard bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Pour sauce into container of an electric blender, cover and process til smooth, stopping once to scrape sides down. Pour mixture back into skillet through a wire mesh strainer. Add meatballs to cherry sauce. Bring sauce to a boil, reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, til meatballs are thoroughly heated. Transfer meatballs and sauce to a chafing dish. Serve warm with wooden picks.

(makes about 4 dozen meatballs)

Venison Meatballs In Dried Cherry Sauce recipe is published in our February, 2012 Menu Minder, Issue #340.