This is a great recipe to have up your sleeve. You can go from a frozen packet of ground wild game to food on the table in under an hour. They're good for a quick weeknight meal, or cut up small and brought to parties. You can even cook the meatballs ahead of time and store them with the sauce in a tupperware and assemble the sandwiches at your hunting camp. It's hard to go wrong with a meatball sub.
Feel free to add other flavorings you like. Fresh or dried parsley and oregano, a half cup of Parmesan cheese, or even a few anchovies are all great additions to this base recipe.
Yield: 4-6 Sandwiches
Prep time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 35-45 Minutes
- 1 pound ground venison (elk, deer, antelope, moose, or caribou)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 Tablespoon milk
- 1/2 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup basil pesto
- 3 Tablespoon olive oil
- 4 hoagie rolls
- 24-ounce jar of marinara sauce
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- Basil leaves, for garnishing (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground elk, egg, milk, breadcrumbs, pesto, and 1 Tablespoon of the olive oil. Mix very well, until the mixture starts to become sticky, this will help the meatballs hold their shape in the oven and give them a better finished texture.
- Form into 12 meatballs (about 2” diameter) and arrange on the lined baking sheet.
- Bake meatballs for 15 minutes at 425 degrees F until internal temp reaches 150 degrees F.
- While the meatballs are cooking, cut the hoagie buns in half lengthwise and open like a book. Brush with remaining 2 Tablespoons olive oil and place in the oven to toast for 2 minutes.
- When the meatballs are cooked and the bread is toasted, remove them from the oven and spoon meatballs and sauce into each hoagie bun with a leaf or two of basil, if you're using it. Top with mozzarella and return to the oven for another 3 minutes until the cheese is melted.
- You can either serve subs whole, or cool slightly and cut into a total of 8 sandwiches.