Wild Recipes

Indian Spiced Venison Meatballs with Mango Chutney and Yogurt Sauce

Indian food will also hold a special place in my heart. I grew up a very picky eater, often turning down my mother’s elegant homemade recipes for a cheeseburger or a hot dog drowned in ketchup. I would be taken out to fancy steakhouses and seafood places and order a burger, which I still do sometimes.

I got a bit better when I got older, but this continued until I was all but forced to go to an Indian restaurant when I was 20. The tastes, the spices, and the combinations of flavors blew my mind and my palette, and opened my eyes to trying new foods. I’ve been hooked on finding that feeling ever since. I am always searching for recipes that would work well with wild game and incorporate different flavors and recipes than the ones most of us are used to. Below is one such recipe that I adapted from a crockpot recipe I found that’s easy to make, fun to assemble, and delicious.

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1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground venison
2 eggs lightly beaten
½ cup bread crumbs
1/3 cup finely chopped green onions
¼ cup milk
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. ground cumin
1/3 cup tamari sauce
2 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. grated ginger
2 tsp. garam masala

3-4 mangoes
½ cup diced red onion
1/3 cup brown sugar
5 tbsp. minced garlic
3 tbsp. minced ginger root
3 tbsp. white wine vinegar
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Yogurt sauce:
1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
2 tsp. sugar
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp. salt
2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. fresh dill

Mix ingredients up to chutney and shape into 32 meatballs. Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through. Use this time to make the chutney. Combine all chutney ingredients, mix into a saucepan, and cook on low heat for about a half hour. Move all meatballs and chutney into a crockpot and cook on low for about 3 hours. Serve with naan or pita bread with yogurt sauce, sliced red onion, cucumber, and fresh cilantro.

Benjamin Burgholzer

Benjamin Burgholzer is an enthusiast of wild foods and wild places, a part-time professor, small business owner, freelance writer, and the Managing Editor of Harvesting Nature. A novice backpack hunter and seasoned fly fisherman, when he is not working or writing, he spends as much time as possible in the mountains of Oregon, where he has recently moved to from upstate New York.

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