This recipe uses venison mince which can be minced at home using the neck, the front end, lower legs and flanks part of the animal. While mince is deemed the ‘cheaper’ part of the animal, this meatball dish scream luxury and if you are lucky enough to have wild mushrooms growing near you, by all means use wild nushrooms (safely) in this dish.
Did you know? Venison has 50% less fat than beef, making it a healthier red meat alternative. And where’s it’s low in fat, it’s high in protein—
- 2 tbs sunflower oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/4 bunch dill, finely chopped
- 500g venison mince
- 80g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup (70g) Dijon mustard
- 60g unsalted butter
- 400g mixed wild mushrooms (we used Swiss brown, pine and chestnut)
- 1/2 tsp sweet smoked paprika
- 1 tbs each tomato paste and plain flour
- 400ml beef consommé or beef stock
- 1/3 cup (80ml) brandy
- 150g sour cream
- 400g tagliatelle
- 1 tbs poppyseeds
- 2 tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1. Heat 1 tbs oil in a frypan over medium heat. Cook onion for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Transfer mixture to a bowl and set aside to cool. Stir through dill, venison, breadcrumbs, egg and 2 tbs mustard. Season, then form mixture into 30 small meatballs. Chill for 30 minutes to firm up.
2. Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in a large frypan over medium heat. Cook meatballs, in batches, for 6-7 minutes until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate. Cover and keep warm.
3. Return pan to high heat with 30g butter. Cook mushrooms, stirring, for 4-5 minutes until golden. Add paprika, tomato paste and flour, and cook for 1 minute, then add consommé and brandy. Cook for 7-8 minutes until slightly thickened. Return the meatballs to pan and stir through sour cream and remaining 1 tbs mustard. Cook, for 5 minutes or until warmed through. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to packet instructions. Drain, then toss pasta with poppy seeds, 1 tbs parsley and remaining 30g butter. Season.
5. Divide pasta and ragout among bowls and top with remaining 1 tbs parsley.