Food, Recipes

Tender Venison Meatballs in Red Sauce on Spaetzle, Recipe. Best enjoyed with Roodeberg Reserve

International travel may be out of bounds for now, but that should not stop us from experiencing the aromas and tastes of Europe this holiday season. Roodeberg, the cherished South African wine with a story in every bottle, has a novel plan to take us on a Culinary Journey to some of Europe’s most exciting cities one delicious recipe at a time. First up, Frankfurt, Germany’s financial hub and cultural melting pot gives us, Venison meatballs in a rich Italian tomato sugo served with Spaetzle a tasty culinary mashup deserving of a glass or two of Roodeberg Reserve:

*Makes 16 Meatballs*

Ingredients for the sauce

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 medium chopped onion

4 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

2 tablespoons of tomato paste

2 x 400g cans of peeled, chopped tomatoes

1 teaspoon of salt

1 cup of beef stock

Ingredients for the meatballs

800g ground venison

2 teaspoons of kosher salt

1 tablespoon of dried oregano

2 teaspoons of garlic powder

2 teaspoons of onion powder

1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese

Ingredients for the Spaetzle

500g Spaetzle, ready to use from any German grocer

100g butter

A handful fresh basil


To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a large heavy based pot over medium heat. 

Add the onion and garlic and cook until they start to brown, about 5-7 minutes. 

Add the tomato paste and oregano, and cook down for another 3-5 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt and the stock. Use an immersion blender to blend the sauce until smooth. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 

Cover and simmer for 1 hour until the sauce has reduced and deepened in colour. Add additional salt to taste.

For the meatballs, combine the venison, salt, oregano, garlic, onion and parmesan in a large bowl. Work quickly to combine the mixture well, but do not overwork the meat. Form the meat into 10cm balls and drop them into the warm red sauce. 

Cover the pot and lower the heat to a gentle simmer. Cook for 60-90 minutes until the meatballs are tender. If the sauce gets too thick during cooking, add some extra stock or water, ¼ cup at a time.

Lightly fry the Spaetzle in the butter and serve with the meatballs. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.


Recipe by Elmarie Berry
Images by Lindy Kriek Photography

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