Elk meat has a rich, slightly sweet flavor that is milder than other venison like caribou, deer, or moose. To make this retro-inspired appetizer of elk meatballs, simply season the ground meat with sautéed onions, garlic, and a little allspice; add some ground pork for extra juiciness; form it into meatballs; and broil in the oven on a baking sheet. Then place the meatballs in a pot of homemade bourbon-barbecue sauce and keep them warm on the stovetop or in a slow cooker for an easy party appetizer. Or try stuffing them into a sandwich roll, topping them with cheese, and toasting the whole thing for a few minutes under the broiler for a meatball sub. Then, use your leftover bourbon to throw together an Old Fashioned cocktail.
What to buy: You can find ground elk meat at gourmet grocers or online.
There are various intensities of molasses available, from light to blackstrap. Dark (sometimes marketed as robust) tastes best in this recipe. Molasses can be found in the baking aisle at grocery stores.
Game plan: You can make this recipe up to 1 day in advance. Cool the meatballs in the sauce to room temperature and refrigerate in a covered container. Reheat on the stovetop on medium low or in a slow cooker set to low, stirring occasionally.
This recipe was featured as part of our Game Meat Recipes for the Big Game.
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