Drunk Moose Meatballs

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Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. You can make these with beef, moose or venison.

Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. It is my all time most popular appetizer.

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.

Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. It is my all time most popular appetizer.

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.

Drunk Moose Meatballs from Cosmopolitan Cornbread

To Make Drunk Moose Meatballs, You Will Need:

  • ground moose (or beef)
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • fresh bread crumbs
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • parsley
  • butter
  • onion
  • bourbon whiskey
  • bottled BBQ sauce (such as Sweet Baby Ray’s Brown Sugar & Hickory)
  • skillet
  • 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.

drunk moose meatballs in process

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.

making the sauce for the drunk moose meatballs

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!

Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. It is my all time most popular appetizer.

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Did you make and enjoy this recipe from Cosmopolitan Cornbread? Please rate it below and leave a comment to share your thoughts! 

Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. It is my all time most popular appetizer.

Did you make and enjoy this recipe from Cosmopolitan Cornbread? Please rate it below and leave a comment to share your thoughts! 

Yield: about 40 meatballs

Drunk Moose Meatballs

Drunk Moose Meatballs are scrumptious little meatballs bathed in a whiskey-laced barbecue sauce. You can make these with beef, moose or venison.

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)

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Baking Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. Add in a quarter cup of Worcestershire Sauce to the meat.
  3. 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.
  4. In the measuring cup of bread crumbs, add a tablespoon of parsley and a teaspoon each of salt & pepper. Stir them together.
  5. Pour the crumb mixture into the bowl with the meat.
  6. Then gently mix this together with your hands until it is just combined.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Enjoy!

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

20

Serving Size:

1

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.

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This recipe was originally published in 2012, and updated December 2020.

49 thoughts on “Drunk Moose Meatballs”

  1. 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!

    Reply
  2. 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?….

    Reply
    • 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!

      Reply
  3. 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!

    Reply
  4. 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!

    Reply
  5. 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!
    Cynthia Briggs
    Cookbook Author

    Reply
  6. Conni, 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.

    Reply
  7. 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.

    Reply
  8. These meatballs look wonderful – I have never tried moose before, but I am pretty sure my adventurous husband would be all about it!

    Reply
  9. Reblogged this on At Home With Cat and commented:
    If you have not met Conni, 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!

    Reply
  10. I am definitely trying this! Conni…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! :)

    Reply
  11. 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, Conni!

    Reply

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