- 3 pounds ground venison
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste, divided
- 2 cups finely chopped onion
- 2 large green bell peppers, divided
- 1½ teaspoons oregano, dried, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup uncooked oatmeal or fine dry breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- 3 (15 ounces each) cans tomato sauce
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 bay leaf
- Meatballs: Mix venison with the egg, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, half of the chopped onion, half of the chopped green pepper, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and the uncooked oatmeal. Moisten with a little of the tomato sauce if the mixture is dry. Mix well, form into meat balls. In a large non-stick skillet over medium low heat, add the 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Cook meatballs in batches until browned on all sides; transfer to a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake for about 40 minutes at 350°. Cool then refrigerate until an hour before serving. The meatballs can be made the night before.Sauce: In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, combine remaining tomato sauce and paste, ½ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon basil, remaining chopped onion, remaining chopped green peppers, and minced garlic. Cook for 5 to 6 hours on LOW. Check and add a little water if necessary. Add bay leaf and meatballs one hour before serving time. Remove the bay leaf, taste and adjust seasonings, and serve hot over pasta.
- Makes about 3 dozen meatballs, or enough for 8 to 10 servings with spaghetti or other pasta.