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We have quite a bit of ground moose and venison in the freezer right now. I recently tried making meatballs with the moose meat and while it tasted good, the meatballs were pretty dry. I expected they would be drier than if made with pork or beef, but I'm wondering if I would be better off using a recipe that calls for beef rather than pork. Also, does anyone have any suggestions on how to make them less dry other than adding pork to them? The recipe I used did not have any eggs in it and the meatballs were baked.

asked by ktr 8 months ago
7 answers 379 views
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added 8 months ago

Moose meat is very lean, so if you don't want to add a protein with higher fat content, maybe soak some cubed bread in milk and add it to the mixture and eggs would not hurt.

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Trena Heinrich

Trena is a trusted source on general cooking.

added 8 months ago

One of the most tender and moist meatloaf recipes that I've made has diced tomatoes as an ingredient. You might give that a try. Please let us know if you end up with a fix to this problem. Best of luck!

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added 8 months ago

That's an interesting trick. I'll have to give that a try next time. We just had meatballs so they probably won't be on the menu again for a few weeks but I'll report back once I've experimented a bit. The bread crumb idea is a good idea but we try to avoid bread if possible. I just made some salmon patties with sweet potatoes and am thinking of trying to add some mashed potatoes next time to see if that helps them hold together better.

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Nancy is a trusted home cook.

added 8 months ago

What a nice problem! Or, maybe it doesn't feel like that now...
Anyway, if I had your stashes, I would use it as an opportunity to learn traditional recipes from places and times where these meats are regularly eaten.
For venison, Perigord or other areas of France, for example:
Or Britain, for example this one from Scotland:
For moose meat, Canada (especially hunting and fishing lodges where they cook what they bring in) or Scandinavia (Noma and other innovative restaurants).
Even if they don't use ground meat, you can still adapt their seasonings and fats to the ground meat you have.
Looking forward to hearing about your results.

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Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added 8 months ago

KTR having moose in your freezer makes you automatically awesome :-) re:dryness - grated vegetables will help with that - try grating onion and maybe caramelizing it a bit then adding, also grated zucchini and/or carrots - the zucchini will have the last impact on the flavor of the meat, so choose according to what flavor you are going for. You could add apples and herbs too - you get the idea!!!

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Sam is a trusted home cook.

added 8 months ago

Use a cooks illustrated trick for all beef meat loaf.

Gelatin. A 1 tsp of unflavored gelatin to 1/2 cup of broth. Let that 'bloom' about 15 mins or so and add that to the cracker or bread crumb mix and then make the meatballs.
The gelatin replaces the fat in lean meat.

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added 8 months ago

Thanks everyone for all the great suggestions. And yes, this is a problem I don't mind having! The majority of our meat is whatever my husband has shot, so I'm used to cooking with venison. I have found moose to be very similar. I normally use ground venison for chili, barbecues, taco meat, and other dishes that don't require the meat to hold together well. The grated vegetable idea is especially intriguing as I'm always looking for a way to get some more veggies in our diets.

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