French Onion Soup Stuffed Venison Meatballs Recipe

Prep:

Cook:

Serves: 5-9

Served as an appetizer or as a main course, the meatballs will be a hit with all your dinner guests.

Printer Friendly Recipe By author of Timber 2 Table Wild Game Recipes

French Onion Soup is one of my favorite dishes of all time. Sweet, savory, loaded with gooey cheese, what’s not to like about it? Same goes for venison meatballs. We make several variations, and we love them all.

Serve the meatballs over mashed potatoes or egg noodles for a main course, over over toasted bread for an appetizer.

This recipe combines the two. The meatballs get stuffed with rich, caramelized onions and cheese, browned in a cast-iron skillet, then simmered in a rich onion gravy and topped with more cheese to finish.

Nestle the meatballs into the onion gravy, top with more cheese, then bake.

Serve them over mashed potatoes or egg noodles for a main course, or on toasted French bread slices for an appetizer. 

Your guests will be doubly impressed when they open the meatballs to find more onion and cheese waiting inside.

Ingredients

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

2 tablespoons butter

2-3 large sweet yellow onions
thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic
minced

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup beef or venison stock

1/2 teaspoon beef base or 1 cube beef bullion

1/4 cup red wine

MEATBALLS:

2 pounds ground venison

2 slices white bread soaked in milk

1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs

1 teaspoon dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs
beaten

8 oz shredded mozzarella

4 oz provolone cheese

4 ounces Swiss cheese

2 tablespoons canola oil

Fresh chopped parsley or chives for garnish
optional

GRAVY:

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

2 cups beef or venison stock

1 teaspoon beef base or 1 cube beef bullion

½ cup red wine

2 tablespoons cornstarch blended into 3 tablespoons water

salt & pepper
to taste


Cooking Instructions

Start the dish with the onions. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and sprinkle over the salt. Cook the onions down, stirring often, for 20 minutes or until they take on a nice golden color. Add the garlic, wine, stock, thyme, and beef base. Continue cooking for an additional 20 minutes, or until the onions are deep, rich burgundy in color and are soft enough to easily smash under a spoon. Remove the onion mixture from heat and allow it to cool.

Start by caramelizing sweet onions with red wine, garlic, herbs and beef or venison stock.

 Add the ground venison to a large mixing bowl. Tear the milk-soaked bread into bits and add to the bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, parsley and beaten eggs. Use your hands to blend everything well. The mixture should be slightly sticky.

Mix the meatball ingredients in a large bowl until everything is well-blended.

Flatten a handful of meat into a patty in your palm. Add a spoonful each of the onion mixture and shredded mozzarella cheese. Fold the edges of the patty up and seal to form a meatball around the filling. Continue the process until all the meat has been used. Don’t worry if you have leftover onions, we’ll use them later.

Flatten a ball of meat mixture in your hand and spoon on some onion and cheese before closing up the meatball.

Heat canola oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Gently brown the meatballs on all sides. Don’t worry about cooking them through at this point, just brown the surface.

Gently brown the meatballs in a large skillet.

While the meatballs brown, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a heavy sauce pan. Add the flour and stir well to form a roux. Continue cooking until the roux takes on a golden-tan color, about 5-8 minutes. Pour in the stock and red wine. Add the bullion and bring the mixture to a boil. Add the cornstarch/water mixture and continue boiling until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

While the meatballs brown, make the gravy in a heavy saucepan.

Add the sauce to a large Dutch oven or ovenproof dish with lid. Add any onions that remained from the stuffing process. Nestle the meatballs into the onion gravy. Top with the Swiss, provolone, and any remaining shredded mozzarella over the top of the meatballs. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Serve over mashed potatoes, egg noodles or toasted French bread slices. Top with chopped fresh parsley or diced chives for garnish, if desired.

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