Polpette dei Boschi

Meatballs of the Woodlands, which is to say Italian Venison meatballs in a creamy mushroom sauce, excellent nosh on a cold winter’s night. Serve with a good, rich Merlot.



2 slice white bread, crusts off.

A little milk.

400g venison, minced.

4 cloves garlic, crushed.

4 tablespoons cashews, minced.

¼ cup grated parmesan [or ripe cheddar] cheese.

2 tablespoons rubbed origanum.

Salt and pepper to taste.

50g butter.

1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped.

1 sprig rosemary, leaves stripped from the twig and finely chopped.

Salt and pepper to taste.

400g mushrooms, finely chopped.

½ cup Marsala.

½ cup cream.



Soak the bread in enough milk to just cover. After five minutes, pour off the excess and place the bread in a bowl. Add the meat, garlic, cashews, cheese, origanum, salt and pepper and beat together until evenly and thoroughly mixed. Place on a tray and refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove, form into meatballs and place on an oiled oven tray; this quantity should yield about 36 meatballs. Preheat the oven to 180°C. and bake the meatballs for 40 minutes, turning once during that time.

Meanwhile, in a small pan, melt the butter over a medium flame. Add the onion, salt and pepper and the finely chopped rosemary and stir through. Cook for 2-3 minutes and add the mushrooms. Cover and cook gently for 10 minutes then add the Marsala, turn up the heat and allow to bubble for 3-4 minutes then add the cream.

Place the meatballs in a bowl and pour the mushroom mixture over them, and either serve over pasta pr with roast potatoes on the side.


Serve with: Pasta and a salad, or roast potatoes and vegetables on the side.


Serves: 4.

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