Take Venison Meatballs To Another Level With A Boozy Mushroom Gravy

You're probably used to making meatballs with ground beef, chicken, or turkey. No matter what protein you use, meatballs are a delicious and easy food to serve with salads, pasta, or as an appetizer. But if you're bored with your go-to meatball recipe, venison, which most commonly comes from deer, makes for a tasty substitute. Tasting Table recipe developer Jennine Rye created her own version of this dish and in it, she uses a boozy mushroom gravy to amp up the flavor.

"The deliciously deep and gamey flavor of the venison is paired with a rich, creamy, and earthy brandy mushroom gravy, which combines perfectly to make a wonderfully decadent meal," Rye says of her venison meatballs and brandied mushroom gravy.

What are the perks of using venison? As Rye explains, it has a much richer flavor compared to other proteins and is considered to be more eco-friendly than other meats because it is hunted rather than farmed. And while it does taste gamey, which can be off-putting to some, using brandy mushroom gravy offsets some of that taste.

Making boozy mushroom gravy

Let's get into the ingredients you'll need for a boozy mushroom gravy. For the booze, use brandy for a deep flavor. If you're worried about getting tipsy from boozy gravy, rest assured that a lot of the alcohol will cook out. You'll also need other liquids for the gravy like stock or water and heavy cream. For the fungi, go with sliced white button mushrooms or switch it up for cremini for a more earthy flavor. The only other ingredients you'll need for the gravy are onion, garlic, seasonings, oil or butter, and potentially flour or cornstarch as a thickener. 

When it's time to serve the venison meatballs in the gravy, it's best to go with a side dish that will soak up the flavorful gravy without taking away from the flavors of the dish. We think steamed white or brown rice or mashed potatoes are perfect for turning these meatballs into a complete meal. Finally, finish it off with freshly chopped parsley and pair it with a glass of red wine, which complements the rich flavors of venison and mushroom gravy.