Ground Elk & Beet Meatball in Red Wine Sauce

Durham Ranch Elk has a beautiful naturally deep red color that is much darker than beef, so when cooked to medium it will look rare, and that bright beet root coloring only makes these elk meatballs even more beautiful!


  • ½ medium brown onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 lb of ground elk
  • 1 medium beetroot, finely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of pork panko
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon each finely chopped rosemary and thyme
  • 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt


  • 1/2 cup shallots ,finely sliced
  • 1 small red beet, sliced
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • In a small sauce pan, mix together the shallots, beet, wine, vinegar, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce by half (about 10 minutes).
  • Add beef stock and continue to boil until reduced by half again.
  • Whisk in the butter and season generously with salt. Add pepper, stir and turn the heat off. Add in the meatballs and garnish with thyme.


  • Mix all the meatball ingredients listed together and roll into balls
  • Cooked the meatballs on a raised rack on grill set at 375° using Big Game Blend Hardwood until internal temperature was 135° then took off the grill and let rest while you make the red wine reduction sauce.

* PRO TIP * Do not cook elk to any higher internal temperature because it is lean, the meat dries out fast, due to lack of fat which is why ghee is added


Recipe by Chef Stacy Petty, Brand Ambassador for Durham Ranch