Venison Meatballs with Orzo Pasta Minestrone served with Basil Pesto & Garlic Ciabatta Croutons

This delicious hearty dish is perfect for these cold winter nights.  If you're short on time, you can replace the Venison mince with pre-made Venison meatballs.

  • 300g Venison Mince
  • Salt & Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Puree
  • Dried Paprika
  • 60g Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Can Butter Beans, Drained
  • 1 Can Chopped Tomatoes
  • 500ml of Beef Stock
  • Half Bunch Parsley, Chopped
  • 40g Basil
  • 25g Pine Nuts
  • 25g Parmesan Cheese (Grated)
  • 125ml Olive Oil
  • 1 Piece Ciabatta
  • 25g Butter (Softened)
Orzo Pasta Minestrone

  1. Peel and dice the onion and carrot, grate 1 garlic clove
  2. Add 1 tbsp oil to a suitable sized pan, then add the onion, carrot and grated garlic to sweat gently for 5-10 minutes
  3. Add the tomato puree and a pinch of dried paprika, and cook out for 5 minutes
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes and beef stock, bring to a simmer and cook for a further 10 minutes
  5. Add the orzo pasta, bring pan contents to the boil and cook for 10-15 minutes
  6. Add the butter beans, season to taste and stir through the chopped parsley
Venison Meatballs
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC (Fan)
  2. Season the Venison mince well with salt and cracked black pepper
  3. Weigh 50g portions and form into 6 large meatballs
  4. Seal meatballs in a hot pan with 1 tbsp of oil, then transfer to a suitably sized ovenable tray
  5. Cook in the centre of the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes until the juices run clear
Basil Pesto
  1. Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over a medium heat until golden brown
  2. Add the basil, 1 peeled garlic clove, parmesan cheese, salt, cracked black pepper, cooled toasted pine nuts and the olive oil to a blender
  3. Blend on pulse setting until it all comes together, add a little more olive oil if required.  Don't over blend the pesto, it's good to keep a little bit of the texture
Ciabatta Croutons
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180oC (Fan)
  2. Tear the ciabatta in to chunks
  3. Grate the remaining garlic clove and mix with the olive oil, butter and season with salt and black pepper
  4. Coat the ciabatta pieces in the garlic butter before placing on an ovenable tray
  5. Cook in the pre-heated oven for 8-10 minutes until crunchy and golden
Celebrating Great British Beef Week with British Beef Steak and Vegetable Salad
British Beef Steak Pie
Celebrate Organic Month with this Sirloin Steak Recipe