Roasted Vegetable Ragu with Venison Meatballs
A hearty, healthy dish to warm you up this winter.
View the method
- 1 red onion, coarsely diced (1cm pieces) (ragu)
- 1 red capsicum (ragu)
- 1 yellow capsicum (ragu)
- 3 zucchini, chopped into 1cm pieces (ragu)
- 1 large (or 2 medium) size carrots, coarsely diced into 1cm pieces (ragu)
- 2 tomatoes, coarsely diced into 2cm pieces (ragu)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (ragu)
- 2 tbsp olive oil (ragu)
- 1 tsp salt (ragu)
- 1 tsp dried oregano (ragu)
- 1/4 tsp dried chili pepper (or 1/2 small fresh chili, finely minced) (ragu)
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (ragu)
- 1 can tomatoes (425g), coarsely chopped or tomatoes broken up into 2cm pieces (ragu)
- 1 tbsp brown sugar (ragu)
- 500g venison mince, room temperature (meatballs)
- 1 tsp salt (meatballs)
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce (meatballs)
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds (meatballs)
- 1 tsp dried oregano (meatballs)
- 1 tsp dried thyme (meatballs)
- Pinch of dried crushed chili flakes (meatballs)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (meatballs)
Back to ingredients
- Preheat oven to 200°C. In a large baking dish (ceramic works great) or heavy duty shallow oven-proof stock pot, mix all ragu ingredients except vinegar, canned tomatoes, and brown sugar. Place in oven and bake for 30 minutes, stirring midway. In the meantime, prepare venison meatballs.
- Mix all venison meatball ingredients in large bowl. Form into medium size balls (just short of a golf ball). Place heavy duty skillet (cast iron is great) over medium high heat. Add 1/2 the olive oil and when hot, place half the balls in the skillet, making sure they are not crowded. After a couple minutes, check one to see if brown on bottom. If so, gently flip and cook for 1 minute (meatballs will continue cooking in the oven with ragu later) and remove to plate. Repeat with remaining meatballs and set aside.
- After ragu has been in the oven for 30 minutes, remove and add can of tomatoes, brown sugar, and balsamic. Give a good stir and gently nestle meatballs in ragu, spooning some sauce over each ball. Return to oven and continue cooking for 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and test a meatball to make sure it is cooked through, with a small bit of pink in the very middle as they will continue cooking once removed from oven.
- Serve ragu over gluten free spaghetti noodles and top with a pinch of fresh basil, if in season.