Elk Balls! Well, meatballs that is..

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
I have reached the age of 60 without EVER making meatballs! This fact shocked me. I've certainly eaten my fair share. I was looking at the freezer full of ground venison, bear sausage and ground elk... Thinking "that's a LOT of burger patties, what else can I do?"

Then a friend made some meatballs with elk I'd given her, and OMG! So, I bugged her for the recipe and last night plunged headlong into making elk meatballs. Fun! Took me a couple of hours, start to finish, but dang... They were GOOD.

Started by chopping up fresh garlic, onion, serrano pepper, celery, and grating a carrot:

Got all that in the skillet with a good amount of butter:

While that was cooking, I added eggs, oatmeal, a few breadcrumbs to two pounds of ground elk, simmered sauce (store bought "roasted red pepper Tuscan" with some garlic added), got the noodles going, and enjoyed a glass of red wine:

Combined it all together, rolled the meatballs, shoved 'em in the oven, and I just may have enjoyed another glass of red wine...

Made some garlic toast to go along with the meatballs, and we all enjoyed a mighty fine meal. This is very different from my normal cooking, but dang, the meal turned out pretty good. I'll be making more elk balls in the future!



Nov 25, 2013
Sounds mighty tasty!

I'm going to be making spaghetti tonight using ground moose. I like making lasagna with ground elk, and meatloaf with ground elk or moose is fantastic. Bison stroghanoff is pretty good too?My wife prefers making chilli with ground mule deer; she won a chilli cook-off at work with that. Boy were they all surprised when she revealed the muledeer in the chilli, as most had never had it or had claimed that they did not like deer!

Ahhh, it is good to enjoy the fruits of our labours!


Apr 4, 2010
They look great guy!!! Not long ago we had some neighbors over for dinner. We had a big pot of stew, with chunks of Spike elk. After dinner we were discussing the recipe and both of them were astounded that it was elk meat in the stew. They said they had never eaten it before and it was really good. We had to tell them that the majority of the meals they have eaten at our house over the last five years were elk meat. My wife's sister has stated numerous times how bad wild game tastes. Whenever she comes we make several special dishes for her, and she goes away back home never knowing.
We are in Arizona now, and brought a cooler and the camper freezer full of cut and wrapped elk.

Already looking forward to next season.


Jan 13, 2016
Thank goodness you clarified...was watching a youtube vid and the next one up was frying goat balls. I could do without that!


Sep 29, 2004
Guy, if you keep posting photos of food you're going to have unwanted guests showing up at dinner time... Namely me!!! That looks great.

I am not a very creative cook but I use Elk, bear or deer for everything you would cook with red meat. I'll make spaghetti, meatloaf, chilli, tacos and burgers out of game. I have only purchased ground beef a handful of times over the last several years. This past fall we were having a taco bar for my daughters Fastpitch team. I offered to do the taco meat so I ended up buying 5 pounds of ground beef from the store, since I wasn't sure how people would react to wild game meat. As I was cooking it it just didn't taste right so I ended up throwing it away and going to the store and buying five more pounds. It tasted the same way so I just concluded that was how ground beef was compared to wild game. Even my daughters commented on it.

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Lefty, I share the same feeling about "normal" beef vs good wild game - but I do have a soft spot in my taste for good beef.... :)

Last year we had to buy a fair bit of beef, as I'd only shot a small doe. 2015 was a rough year for me in a lot of ways, and I'm grateful that I even got out hunting.

I think I made up for that during the 2016 season, and we're well stocked on great wild game meat!

BTW, having leftovers today, for lunch, and it tastes just as good or better than it did last night!

Love that stuff!



Nov 23, 2013
Guy, congratulations on being a gourmet cook. (y) Was that red wine Dreaming Tree Cab by chance? That is mighty fine wine.. Can you share the proportions for the recipe? Number of eggs, bread crumbs/meat ratio etc..
I will be making four pans of elk lasagna for a university student dinner Thursday night. These students tutor younger school children in our community after school in our church basement. Once a week our priest rewards the students with dinner so I volunteered to fix lasagna.

Our Church Youth Group will be selling Elk and Venison Chili after the service on Super Bowl Sunday. It will be made using meat that I donate. We have very dedicated Youth Leaders and I am pleased to be able to assist them. This year we owe a huge "Thank You" to NYDAN for allowing me to harvest a nice fat doe on his farm.

Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Rol - I don't think my portions were quite right.... But here goes:

2 pounds ground elk
1 large carrot
2 large celery ribs
1 serrano pepper
2 cloves fresh garlic
1 yellow onion
2 eggs (I would use 4 next time)
1.5 cups of oatmeal
1/3 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs *I'd use EITHER the oatmeal or the bread crumbs next time

Then a bit of each: salt, pepper, thyme, paprika, cinnamon, and probably some stuff I forgot.

Red wine was "Caveman Red" from Cave B winery, very good stuff! :)



Nov 8, 2006
Delightful pictures and a fine recipe, Guy. I do enjoy making meatloaf with elk and/or moose. Venison makes fine meatballs, as well.


Range Officer
Staff member
Nov 4, 2004

Looks great! We do a lot of venison burger here. (All those crop damage deer) :)
The latest master piece was Kefte Kebobs on flat skewers cooked on the grill.
Served with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, Greek yogurt and served on flat bread.
They were awesome.


sask boy

Ammo Smith
Nov 4, 2007
Hi Guy, I am coming to this a little bit late but your meal sure sounds delicious (y). People are stating it looks delicious as well but I can not see any photographs :shock:. I am missing the photos somewhere?
Me and computers just do not have a very good relationship :twisted:.


Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
Thanks all!

I had some of the mix leftover... So I added two eggs to it, mixed it up some more, nice and goopy.

Made the meatballs a little bigger, maybe 1.25" dia?

Cooked 'em for 20 min at 350 degrees. They were better! More moist, and more flavor.