Oct 24, 2012


I hesitate to say it's Fall down here, but what the heck.   We've had a couple of cool spells, though we'll approach the 90s again and again before the year's over.

Maybe it's better this way.  The dips and rises instead of one continuous plunge into the damp and chilly cliff dive into winter.  Each dip is like a brand new Fall.

Bright side, people.  Let's overlook the fact that we have to keep a full year's wardrobe at the ready.  And that our heating and cooling systems develop personality disorders.

Hunting season started a few weeks ago.  That makes it officially, 100% Fall in Sportsman's Paradise.

My dad gave us some ground venison (among other critters).  Clearing out his freezer for the new hunting season.

I knew right away it would be meatballs

with a chunky, roux-based

Creole style gravy.

The cooler temps are an ideal time to stand over a pot stirring hot roux and to warm the house with a slow-simmering pot of gravy.

Besides hunting, another activity guiding Fall our way is the biggest Cajun & Creole music festival around.
Isn't this tree awesome?

La Place des Petits for face-painting, story time, and crafts for kids 

Record crowd this year

The Boy's favorite, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys performing a Creole tune from the Carriere brothers: Madame Faille

 A band I enjoyed, Cedric Watson and Bijou Creole.  Check out the frottoir (rubboard) player, Desiree Champagne--she's something else!

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*Note: I like to add ground beef or pork since venison can be dry.  It also helps cut the "gaminess" if the venison is strong.

Venison Meatballs in Creole Gravy

For the meatballs:
1 lb ground venison
1 lb ground pork or beef
about 2 cups seasoned bread crumbs
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
6 Tbsp milk

vegetable oil to cover the bottom of you pot

For the gravy:
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
drippings from cooking meatballs
1 (10 oz) can Ro-tel
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (8 oz) can tomato paste
2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
2 shakes Tony's Creole Seasoning (about 1 tsp)

cooked spaghetti

Making the meatballs:
Venison can be dry, so I like to cut it with ground beef or pork.  Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs, working the mixture as little and as lightly as possible.  Adjust consistency if needed by adding more breadcrumbs or milk.  Make a patty with about 1/2 tablespoon of the mixture.  Heat oil in a large pot, such as a Dutch oven.  Cook the patty and taste for seasoning.  Adjust if needed.  Form the remaining mixture into meatballs and brown in the hot oil, turning to brown evenly.  Remove from the pot and refrigerate until gravy is ready.

Making the gravy:
Measure the meatball drippings.  You'll need about 3-4 tablespoons.  If you don't have enough, add more vegetable oil.  In the same pot you used for the meatballs, heat the oil over medium heat.  Sprinkle in flour to equal the amount of oil.  Cook, constantly stirring, until the roux is a coppery, peanut butter color.  Immediately add the chopped vegetables.  Cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally.

Add all of the tomato products and the seasonings.  Also add 2 tomato paste cans of water.  Stir to dissolve the tomato paste and incorporate the vegetables and roux.  Simmer for about 40 minutes.

Add the meatballs to the gravy and simmer another 20 minutes.  Serve over spaghetti.

Serves 12.  Freezes well.

Linking this week with:

Food On Friday: Marvelous Meatballs @ Carole's Chatter

Photobucket Hearth and Soul blog hop at Premeditated Leftovers
Love Bakes  Good Cakes
Nap-Time Creations
White Lights on Wednesdays
Love Bakes Good Cakes
Recipe BoxMiz Helen’s Country Cottage
Gallery of Favorites BWS tips button
Freedom FridaysSeasonal Sunday Teapot copy


  1. We're supposed to have lows in the 30's next week!!

  2. Venison meatballs - how exotic! How about linking it in to the meatball edition of Food on Friday? I haven't done the showcase post for that yet. Cheers

    PS Thanks for your good wishes on the blog's first birthday!

  3. Good food and good music, what a great day. The next time my hunters bring in Venison I am sure trying this recipe, it looks awesome. Have a fabulous weekend and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  4. I love how you can make this with many different types of meat. The gravy is really original. Looks a great time. Thanks for sharing this on foodie friday.

  5. I found you on Seasonal Sunday at The Tablescaper. I have said it before, and I'll say it again: South Louisiana has the best food in the world. I am saving this, and I will follow your blog. I lived in New Orleans for a couple of years as a "coming of age" young adult, and I have never lost my love of the area or my taste for the food. I only wish I could get some venison! My Daddy was a hunter, but alas, my husband is not.

  6. I like the way you celebrate Fall! Your venison meatballs look fantastic. I've only eaten venison once, but I really did like the flavour. I think the gravy you serve with them sounds really delicious too.


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