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Venison Meatballs

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


Make this easy homemade venison meatballs recipe in just a few steps. Use fresh cranberries, cranberry jam, port and wine to make the tasty berry sauce.



  • 45ml (3 tbsp) vegetable oil
  • 1 large (1 cup) onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and finely diced
  • 1kg (2¼lbs) venison mince
  • 250ml (1 cup) breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • 250ml (1 cup) cranberries
  • 250ml (1 cup) red wine
  • 90ml (6 tbsp) port  
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) cranberry jelly
  • 1 beef stock cube, crumbled
  • 2 thyme sprigs


  1. Using a large frying pan, gently fry the onion and garlic in 15ml (1 tbsp) of oil until softened. This should take about 5 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and place in a large mixing bowl and wait for the mixture to cool down.
  3. Add the breadcrumbs, venison and egg to the onions, season generously with salt and pepper, and mix until all ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Shape the meatballs to be about 5cm (2in) in diameter. Continue doing so until all the mince is finished.
  5. Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and brown the meatballs on all sides.
  6. Add the cranberries and fry for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the wine, port, jelly, stock and thyme and let the sauce reach a slow simmer.
  8. Continue to cook the meatballs in the sauce until they’re cooked through, which would take about 10 minutes.
  9. Serve on a bed of wild rice or creamy mashed potatoes.


  • The cranberries used can be fresh or frozen. If using the latter, thaw them first.
  • If you can’t get hold of cranberry jelly, you can substitute it with red or blackcurrant. In fact, any berry-based jam will do!
  • Can’t get hold of venison? This recipe works with beef as well.
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Scottish


  • Serving Size: 1 serving
  • Calories: 210
  • Sugar: 3.4g
  • Sodium: 154mg
  • Fat: 8.8g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.8g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.7g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Protein: 4.9g
  • Cholesterol: 27mg