Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. You can make these with beef, moose or venison.
This time of year is a special time for families, friends and loved ones to gather together. For some, it is the only time each year that they get to do this.
They come together, laugh, share, remember, cry and hold on to memories of past years and holidays gone by. There is nothing more important than our loved ones, and food can be the magnet for bringing us all together.
When we lived in Alaska, I made these meatballs for a wild game competition using ground moose meat. I called them “Drunk Moose Meatballs,” a name inspired by the whiskey barbecue sauce that you bathe them in. They were a huge hit.
Not only did I win the vote, but when I shared this recipe here on my website, it instantly became my all-time most popular appetizer.
Since then, I make this with ground beef. You can also make it with a blend of venison and beef if you have a hunter in the family.
The meatballs can be made the day prior and refrigerated. Then simply make the sauce the day of your party.
To Make Drunk Moose Meatballs, You Will Need:
- ground moose (or beef)
- Worcestershire Sauce
- fresh bread crumbs
- black pepper
- bourbon whiskey
- bottled BBQ sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray’s Brown Sugar & Hickory)
- scoop (optional)
- baking sheet with silpat or parchment paper
- slow cooker or chafing dish
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To begin, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place the ground moose or ground beef in a mixing bowl, breaking it up a little. Add in Worcestershire Sauce, fresh bread crumbs and the seasonings to the meat.
Gently mix this together with your hands until it is just combined. Overmixing will cause your meatballs to become tough and dry.
Measure out your meat into balls the size of a golf ball. I find that a “rounded Tablespoon” scoop is perfect for this. Scoop it into your hand, briefly press and shape it into a ball. Place the meatball on a large baking sheet.
Repeat with all of the meat mixture.
Bake these for 20 minutes.
While they are baking, sauté onions in the butter until they are golden brown and beautiful.
Pour in the bourbon and let it simmer for a minute.
Stir in the BBQ sauce, and combine. Let it cook a minute, and then turn off the heat.
When the meatballs are done baking, place them in a small crockpot or chafing dish. Pour the sauce over the top, and then gently stir to coat. Cover and let them sit on low heat for at least 30 minutes.
Enjoy your Drunk Moose Meatballs!
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Drunk Moose Meatballs
Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. It is my all time most popular appetizer. (Make these with moose or beef)
- 2 lbs ground moose (or beef)
- 1/4 c Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 1/4 c fresh bread crumbs
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 Tb parsley
- 3 Tb butter
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1/3 c bourbon whiskey
- 2 c Favorite bottled BBQ sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray's Brown Sugar & Hickory)
- To begin, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place 2 pounds of ground moose in a mixing bowl, taking a moment to break it up a little bit.
- Add in a quarter cup of Worcestershire Sauce to the meat.
- In a food processor, tear apart a couple slices of fresh bread. You’ll need enough to make about 1 1/4 cup of fresh bread crumbs. Give them a buzz until you have fine crumbs.
- In the measuring cup of bread crumbs, add a tablespoon of parsley and a teaspoon each of salt & pepper. Stir them together.
- Pour the crumb mixture into the bowl with the meat.
- Then gently mix this together with your hands until it is just combined.
- Measure out your meat into balls the size of a golf ball. I find that a “rounded Tablespoon” scoop is perfect for this. Scoop it into your hand, briefly press and shape it into a ball. Place it on a large baking sheet. Repeat with all of the meat mixture. Bake these for 20 minutes.
- While they are baking, sauté the onions in the butter until they are golden brown and beautiful. Pour in the bourbon and let it simmer for a minute. Stir in the BBQ sauce, and combine. Let it cook a minute, and then turn off the heat.
- When the meatballs are done baking, place them in a small crockpot or chafing dish. Pour the sauce over the top, and then gently stir to coat. Cover and let them sit on low heat for 30 minutes.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 162Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 529mgCarbohydrates: 17gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 15g
Nutritional Disclaimer: Nutritional data is provided as a courtesy and estimated by a service called Nutritionix. That is a web-based nutritional calculator and is not guaranteed to be accurate. If the nutritional information is vital to you please verify it using your favorite trusted source.
This recipe was originally published in 2012, and updated December 2020.
51 thoughts on “Drunk Moose Meatballs”
Think this would work just as well with deer venison?
Loved these! Served them last night for NYE celebration. Since I didn’t have moose meet, I used lean ground beef. But I added my own touch of moose. Moose Creek BBQ sauce from a local restaurant. Everyone loved them!
Made these for choir windup!! Fabulous. Now another batch toBoxing Day to share with our hunting family. The AlbertaMoose is fabulous!
Wonderful!!! I assuredly miss having access to moose meat!
How many meatballs does this recipe make?
That will vary by the size you make them. For me it ends up being about 45-50 meatballs.
These sound absolutely delicious and while I do have the moose meat, I don’t have bourbon whiskey. Would rye whiskey work or could I use something else? Thank you for sharing!
Yes, you could use rye whiskey as well.
I’m making these for my Halloween party on Saturday. Everyone has been dying to try moose and I just so happen to have shot one a few weeks ago :) I’m having about 50 people over but I’m not quite sure how much of everything to use much less how many pounds of moose to use. Can you please help?….
Holly, as an appetizer for 50 people, I would double or triple this recipe. And can I say how incredibly jealous I am? We now live in Alabama, and SO miss having a freezer full of moose meat. Congratulations on your harvest!
Making these today for Thanksgiving… With moose meat my bro-in-law brought back from a hunt in Canada! They smell great and I sampled a plain meatball before the sauce and so far so good! I will report back later!
Fantastic!!! Can I mention how incredibly jealous I am? I miss having a freezer full of moose meat ;)
Not usually a big fan of moose but I feel like the bourbon would compliment gamey taste of the meat nicely! Do you think this recipe could be adapted to be frozen uncooked then cooked completely in a slow cooker? since ground moose seems to be fairly tender my biggest concern is that they would all fall apart and turn into a big pot of (tasty) mush!
Love the name, and they certainly are perfect for a holiday party!
I made these tonight and they were very good. Hubby liked them too. I'll definitely make them again. I was fresh out of moose meat so I substituted very lean, organic, ground beef. delish!
Perfect substitution! I'm glad you liked them!
Yumm! I prepared this on Christmas and my kids loved it!
Well, I don't like your choice of meat LOL but i do love meatballs! If you serve these to me, just lie and say it's another animal ;)
I've never had moose before but it certainly looks delicious!
Constance, I love these meatballs! I'll also have to substitute the meat since I've never seen moose sold around here, but hot damn, these sound delicious. Bourbon whiskey? Yes please! Your gorgeous step by step photos make raw ground meat look pretty darn good (that's quite a feat!). Thanks for sharing and for hosting this week. Happy holidays! BTW, your comment on my bacon peanut caramel popcorn was one of my favourites – it definitely put a big smile on my face.
Thank you so much Nancy! I'm glad you got a kick out of his reaction :)
try reducing the BBQ sauce and adding a 1/4 C grape jelly. That is the way mom always made this dish.
I've heard of drunken mushrooms, but never drunken meatballs! These look fantastic! Thanks for hosting!
I don't have moose on hand but do have beef and look forward to trying these out!
I might not have any access to moose meat but don't you believe that is going to stop me from tasting these amazing meatballs. I have already pinned it and planned it for my visit with my parents this Christmas.
Meatballs are one of my all time favorite appetizers – these sound amazing!
Thanks for hosting, Constance! Your meatballs look very moist and delicious!
Nothing like a good meatball! Thanks for hosting!
We cant get moose here but it looks so good!
Love the sounds of these! I've never made meatballs with homemade bread crumbs I really want to try that. Thanks for hosting this week!!!
Thank you for hosting this week, Constancee. These meatballs absolutely have my mouth watering – they look amazing. Doesn't help that I saw a Maker's bottle… ;)
Thanks for such a wonderful job hosting the group this week! I love how this sauce looks!!!!
I am always on the hunt for a good meatball recipe and I don't have to search any further. Delish!!
Smart use for moose meat!
These meatballs look wonderful – I have never tried moose before, but I am pretty sure my adventurous husband would be all about it!
Thanks for hosting, these look amazing.
I love the color of these meatballs and the lovely step by step pics! Thanks for hosting this Constance!
Oh yummy! Meatballs and bourbon will be a hit with my family this Christmas!
Thank you for hosting, Constance. These look fantastic what a great twist! ~ Bea @ galactopdx
Wow do these sound good Constance! Most of us can't get our hands on some Moose, but that whiskey sauce – oh my!
Love that sauce. I'm drooling over here! Thank you so much for hosting!
The color of those meatballs is amazing, and they sound soooo good! Perfect appetizer. Thanks for hosting Constance!
I'm making these soon. I love meatballs and am so tired of the usual recipe. I'll have to use beef though. Moose isn't readily available here.
No ground moose on hand, but we have venison. Yum, what a fun way to make meatballs. Love it!
Reblogged this on At Home With Cat and commented:
If you have not met Constance, The Foodie Army Wife, you are in for a treat! And I mean that literally! Her cooking is unpretentious and she helps you with step-by-step instructions and pictures that make you want to dive right in. Enjoy!
I am definitely trying this! Constance…you make things look so easy! You do a fantastic job showing the step-by-step how to. It just makes ya wanna get in there and try it! :)
Thank you Cat! I appreciate that. After all, YOU are the reason I started blogging to begin with! :)
You were doing it already! ;) Next up…a cookbook and your own television program! I think you should go for it!
Oooh, I love the idea of drunken meatballs! Thanks for hosting us, Constance!
I can see these are tantalizing appetizers. (Not many moose running around our Santa Monica beaches, but I'm sure I can muster up some ground turkey.) Thank you for sharing your Drunk Moose Meatballs, Constance!