Venison Meat Balls
3 pounds ground venison
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 6 ounce cans tomato paste, divided
2 to 3 large onions
2 to 3 large green bell peppers
1 1/2 teaspoons oregano, dried, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup uncooked oatmeal or fine dry bread crumbs
3 15 ounce cans tomato sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bay leaf
Meatballs: Mix venison with the egg, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 finely chopped onion, 1 finely 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 nonstick 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 350F. Cool then refrigerate until an hour before serving. The meatballs can be made the night before.
Sauce: In a 5 quart or larger slow cooker put remaining tomato sauce and paste, 1/2 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon basil, remaining chopped onion, remaining chopped green peppers and minced garlic. Cook for 5 to 6 hours on low. 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 pasta.
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