Venison is not easy to come by for most cruisers, but this is a recipe that can be made with any lean meat. Try it with extra lean ground beef, goat or buffalo. Since venison is particularly lean, wrapping the meatballs in bacon gives the meat extra flavor and depth. And as you can see from many past posts, we Galley Pirates love our bacon! This evening we were in the galley of Indian Summer, that beautiful trawler where we made a fantastic grilled snapper with a pear beurre blanc a few weeks back. So yeah, this was basically like cooking in a bright airy kitchen. Not bad; I’ll take it!
1 lb ground venison
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, minced
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup tomato sauce
2 teaspoons Italican Seasoning
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon pepper
10 strips of bacon
Mince the garlic and onions. In a large bowl mix the top ten ingredients…your hands are by far the best mixer when it comes to meatloaf and meatballs…until all combined.
Roll into golfball size meatballs. Preheat your galley oven to 400º if you can. Or just get it as hot as you can.
Depending on how big your bacon is, you may have to cut it in half like I did or the bacon will be too big for the meatball. Wrap each meatball in bacon and secure with a toothpick.
Once they are all wrapped up and your galley oven is nice and hot, place them in the oven and let them roast for 30 minutes.
When done, the bacon won’t have that “crisp” look that you get with fried bacon, but it will be cooked through.
While those are cooking, make your bourbon sauce.
Smokey Bourbon Sauce
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon liquid smoke
2 teaspoons corn starch
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a pan and add the brown sugar. Stir on low heat until sugar is dissolved and well combined. in a small cup stir 2 teaspoons corn starch into one tablespoon of liquid smoke and set aside. Add the bourbon, salt, cayenne pepper and liquid smoke/cornstarch mixture into the pan. Stir and let thicken on low heat.
Spoon onto cooked meatballs and serve. By the time I got the camera out the meatballs were half gone! A delicious appetizer on the good ship Indian Summer!