Elk Meatballs In Tomato Mushroom Sauce

This recipe makes approximately twelve big, mouth-wateringly delicious, one-inch diameter elk meatballs.



Ingredients

1 20g pkg of dried porcini mushrooms
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
3/4 tsp ground coriander seed
1/2 tsp ground thyme
1/4 tsp ground savory
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 - 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 lb ground elk
1/4 cup (approx) dry bread crumbs

2 tbsp canola oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup dry red wine
1 28oz can diced plum tomatoes
1/2 lb sliced mushrooms
1/4 - 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

1 lb dry pasta
olive oil

Parsley and Parmesan cheese to garnish

Method

Place dried mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 1 cup boiling water.
Let stand for 30 minutes.
Strain soaked mushrooms and liquid through a sieve.
Be sure to squeeze all excess liquid from mushrooms.
Set strained mushroom liquid aside.
Finely chop the soaked, squeezed mushrooms.

Put the chopped mushrooms into a medium sized bowl.
Blend in the lightly beaten egg, parsley, coriander, thyme, savory, salt and pepper.
Add the ground elk and work into the blended mixture until combined.
Add, and work in, enough dry bread crumbs so that the meat mixture will bind and can be formed into meatballs (12 approximately, about one inch or so in diameter).

Heat canola oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium high heat.
Add the meatballs and brown on all sides.
Remove the meatballs and set aside. Lower heat and add the shallots and garlic.
Cook and stir for about 3 minutes, or until the shallots begin to soften.
Add the red wine.
Increase the heat and bring to a boil.
Add the strained mushroom liquid, plum tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, salt and parsley.
Stir, bring to a boil then return browned meatballs to the pan.
Cover, lower heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove cover, stir and cook for another 30 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency.
Add more dry red wine or water if sauce becomes too thick.

Serve over cooked pasta tossed with some olive oil.
Garnish with freshly chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.