They’re pretty awesome.

We make a lot of meatballs here at LWK. Mostly because there is pretty much an endless supply of ground venison and because they really come together so fast. Take 2 pounds of meat, add an egg and spices, mix well, make into balls, bake for 15 minutes. They also freeze really well so you can throw together a whole mess of them and then have dinner (or appetizers) at your fingertips anytime you need it.

ground elk recipe

For this round of meatballs, I decided to go with a sweet curry flavoring, mostly because the people that wander through my door these days have issues with spicy food due to age: notably being too young or too old to tolerate it. No, spicy food isn’t the thing I miss the most about being in my 20s but it’s definitely on the list.

ground elk recipe

Since I wanted a chili-free curry blend I basically just made up my own. If buying a gazillion spices isn’t something you want to do, find a mild curry powder and just dump a bunch of that in there. If you’re not sure, here’s a hint: “hot Madras” is hot, not mild. Everything else should be mild enough for the American palate, especially if you’re at just a regular old grocery store.

ground elk recipe

The nice thing about these meatballs is that they are somewhat light and versatile. The fresh basil and mint really brightens them up and you could serve them simply with some salted cucumber or a little dollop of good, plain yogurt or sour cream. If you’re looking for something a little more substantial, throw a jar of ready-made curry over it (like Patak’s) and serve with rice or the grocery store version of naan. (Or pita, if your grocery store doesn’t sell something that pretends to be naan.)

Sweet Curry Meatballs


  • 2lb ground venison
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon chile powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 heaped tablespoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint (finely chopped, plus more for garnish)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil (finely chopped, plus more for garnish)


Step 1
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Combine all the ingredients (except fresh herbs set aside for garnish) and mix until all the spices are well incorporated into the meat. Form into balls and put on a foil-lined pan sprayed with pan spray. Bake until cooked through, about 15-20 minutes. Serve warm as an appetizer or along side steamed Basmati rice.

Non-game substitution: Any ground meat. If using an especially fatty ground meat you can omit the egg.

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