A sweet and tangy homemade cranberry sauce with a bit of a kick makes the perfect glaze for these Venison Meatballs. (You can use it with regular meatballs too!)
What’s your favorite party food?
We’ve been prepping this week to have people over for a game day party. Even though the Packers didn’t make it to the Big Game, there’s still an excuse to party!
We LOVE meatballs as a party food. Put out some toothpicks, turn on the crock pot to keep them warm, and people can snack all afternoon long.
Our Cranberry Glazed Venison Meatball Recipe
These Cranberry Glazed Venison Meatballs have a deep sweetness from brown sugar, the bright and slightly tart flavor of juicy cranberries, and just a hint of a kick from some cayenne pepper.
You could easily use frozen meatballs with this sauce recipe (just skip straight to the instructions for making the sauce). And, you could just as easily swap out some ground beef in the meatball recipe.
However, we decided to make our meatballs out of the last of some ground venison we had in the freezer.
Making meatballs from scratch isn’t difficult (think meatloaf or burgers, but mini). And, it allows you to do fun things like add nutmeg and a bit of black pepper, making these meatballs the perfect complement to the cranberry glaze.
Cranberry Glazed Venison Meatballs
For The Meatballs (Yield: 24 – 1” meatballs)
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- ½ onion, minced
- ½ lb ground venison (or beef, 85% lean)
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- ½ c breadcrumbs
- 2 Tbsp milk
- 1 egg
For The Cranberry Sauce
- 1 c water
- ½ c white sugar
- ½ c brown sugar
- 8 oz cranberries (fresh or frozen, thawed)
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp cayenne
- 1/8 tsp cloves
For The Meatballs
- Heat butter in a medium, non-stick frying pan. Add onions and saute until golden. Remove from heat.
- Mix onions with remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix to thoroughly incorporate, but do not over mix.
- Return the non-stick frying pan to medium heat.
- Shape 1 Tbsp of meat mixture in a ball, roughly 1” in diameter. As meatballs are shaped, add to hot pan. Heat meatballs until the entire outside is seared. Set aside. (If you were eating the meatballs straight from here, you would want to cook them 7-10 min until firm, but since we will be cooking them in the sauce, we just need to lock in the juices and set the shape.)
- Continue until all meat mixture has been used.
For The Cranberry Sauce
- In a medium saucepan, bring water and sugars to a boil, stirring often. Simmer 5 minutes.
- Add cranberries and cinnamon stick. Simmer 5-7 minutes, until the cranberry skins pop.
- Add mustard, salt, cayenne, and cloves. Mix well.
Putting It All Together
- Add meatballs to sauce and simmer 5-10 minutes, until glaze thickens and meatballs are warmed through.