Smokin Hot Venison Meatballs and Soy Maple Marinated Venison Kebobs

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a Rep from Wrights Liquid Smoke and asked if I would be interested in helping them promote a sweepstakes they are going to be having. On December 9th the sweepstakes will open up on their Facebook page, When you enter the contest you will open up some special recipes from Wright's Liquid Smoke. On the 20th of December the contest ends and they will be giving out a $500 dollar gift card to Bass Pro Shops. I am sure that everybody could use a $500 dollar gift card so on the 9th make sure you go to the Wright's Facebook page and enter.

To help promote this sweepstakes I came up with a couple of recipes that included Wright's Liquid Smoke. I have never really used liquid smoke except in jerky recipes and occasionally in a stew, so I tried to use the liquid smoke in a couple different ways. The first recipe is for a smokey Italian meatball using venison. The liquid smoke can be added directly into ground meat at a ratio of 2 teaspoons to each pound of meat. You can add more or less depending on how much smokey flavor you would like.

The second way I used it was to add it to a marinade, I used 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke for one cup of marinade. For both recipes I found the smoke flavor was not overpowering and was just the right amount of smoke for the meal.  I added the meatballs to spaghetti and really enjoyed the smokiness the meatballs added the the sauce and the whole dish. I was trying to get a little more smokey flavor in the kebabs because I was going to grill them. I wanted to get a real pronounced smokey flavor. On the kebabs I also added water-chestnuts and fresh pineapple and new that they would balance out some of the smokiness.

Both dishes were a success and my 2 year old son really loved the meatballs, but he really loves anything he can pick up with one hand and mash in his face. The kind people at Wright's also sent me four bottles of liquid smoke so now I am going to have to try as many different recipes as I possibly can. If anybody has a favorite recipe they would like to share with me I would love to try it out. Good Luck everybody and if you win the $500 dollar gift card I could use a new meat grinder, Just saying.

Smokin Hot Venison Meatballs 

1 lbs ground venison
1/3 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 tsp Wright's liquid smoke
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp toasted fennel seeds

1. soak the bread crumbs in the milk for 10 minutes, then beat one egg into the breadcrumb mixture.
2. add the venison and remaining seasonings and mix well.
3. Form a small patty and fry it in a pan and taste it to make sure the seasoning are right for you.
4. Form your meatballs and then brown them in a pan for a minute or two on each side
5. bake your meatballs in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 150 degrees

These meatball can be enjoyed any way you want them, I mixed them into spaghetti but they would also make a delicious meatball sandwich.

Soy Maple Marinated Venison Kebabs 

1 lbs venison cut into large cubes
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Wright's liquid smoke
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 shallot chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1 can whole water-chestnuts
2 cups fresh cut pineapple cut into 1 inch cubes

1. whisk together the ingredients for the marinade then add the water-chestnuts and the venison and let sit in the fridge for about 4 hours.

2. remove the meat and water-chestnuts from the marinade and place on your skewers along with the pineapple.

3. Grill over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes per side or until the venison reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees.