“Roundels of elk stuffed with ripe blue cheese were being brought out when one of Lord Rowan’s knights stabbed a Dornishman. The gold cloaks dragged them both away, one to a cell to rot and the other to get sewn up by Maester Ballabar.” –A Storm of Swords
This recipe has been on my to-make list for quite some time, pending only the acquisition of some elk meat. I had originally imagined them as small elk tenderloins, but despite a long search, could only track down ground elk meat locally. So I thought, “How can I stuff them with blue cheese?” And then inspiration struck: meatballs stuffed with cheese. It’s only a little stretch. :)
These are awesome. As they bake, the kitchen gradually fills with this wonderful meaty smell that heightens the anticipation of finally tasting the finished meatballs. They’re roughly two-bite morsels; the first bite reveals a center of melted cheese, the flavors of which meld incredibly well with the gaminess of the elk. I’d planned to serve mine with a sauce, but every last one was eaten before I could produce any… Maybe next time!
Recipe for Elk Meatballs with Blue Cheese
Makes about a dozen small meatballs
Cook’s Notes: Can’t find Elk? Venison, Bison, and Lamb would all work well with this recipe!
- 1 lb. ground elk
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- hefty pinch each of salt and pepper
- ~4 oz. block blue cheese, cut into 1/2” cubes
Preheat the oven to 400F. Mix together the first four ingredients, taking care that it is evenly combined. Pinch off a little of this mixture and form around a cube of blue cheese, working to seal the edges. Roll into a ball, and set aside.
Place the meatballs on a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet with raised edges (to catch the grease). Bake for around 16 minutes, or until cooked through and the cheese is melty. Allow to cool slightly, then serve and enjoy!