A while back, a friend of mine made me falafel. And I loved it! I knew I had to make it! I also know that meatless meals are a hard sell in our house (read: very carnivorous husband). We’ve never tried doing anything like “Meatless Monday” because frankly, we believe that good quality meat is very good for you. We have an abundance of meat thanks to hunting, fishing and farming. So we are almost always trying to use it up!
So I customized it, and came up with these!
Venison Falafel, two different ways!
I knew I wanted to share this with you, but I used chickpea flour, which is a simple and fast way to make them, but if you don’t have a grain mill, chickpea flour is far from frugal. I came up with a way using whole chickpeas for you as well! They are pretty low in meat, considering that half of pound of meat feeds 3-4 people. I’ve also lightened it up by instead of deep frying you brown and then bake.
Both recipes start with the same things. Ground Venison, dried onion, dried garlic, bread crumbs, an egg, fresh parsley and cumin.
Then you either add 1 cup of chickpea flour and 1/4 c of water or 1 cup over cooked chickpeas. The methods are slightly different, and I’ll outline what happens after you get the base of the falafel together.
To the base add 1 cup of chickpea flour and 1/4 cup of water, alternating to get a consistency that you can make into meatballs.
Bring 1 cup of cooked chickpeas to a boil in 2 cups of water and then simmer for 15 minutes (I’d love if you cooked your beans from dry! For a more frugal option, of course 🙂 ) Drain, mix together with the base and then puree in a food processor until the chickpeas are just mush.
You then form into flat balls, about 1 1/4 inch wide and 1/4 inch thick, brown in a frying pan and then bake in an oven.
Pro’s and Cons
Pro’s: Way faster, less dishes.
Con’s: More costly if you don’t have a grain mill.
Taste: I preferred these ones.
Con’s: Longer method and more dishes.
Taste: Cowboy preferred the smooth texture of these!
So what do you do with Falafel?
Well, you serve it with Pita bread (I’ve made my own and bought it), chutney (Remember I shared the recipe specifically for this!? Or you can buy it!), Tzatziki or Green Onion Yogurt Dip (Yesterday’s post!). I like to make as many components for a meal from scratch as I can. BUT! Falafel can also be a very fast meal if you purchase Tzatziki, you could skip the chutney, pick up some Pita at the grocery store and you’ve got a meal! We served with raw veggies to dip in the yogurt dip. Yum 🙂
Venison Falafel Two Ways
1/2 lb ground venison (beef or other game)
2 tsp dried onion
2 tsp dried garlic
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp bread crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/3 c fresh parsley (or 2 tbsp dried parsley. That might mess with the consistensy a bit, so be careful)
Either 1) Chickpea flour and 1/4 c water or 2) 1 c cooked chickpeas
Method: Mix together venison to parsley and then follow 1) or 2) depending on which type of chickpeas you choose.
1)Into the base, using a fork mix flour and water alternating.
2) Bring the cooked chickpeas and 2 cups of water to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes. Put the base and chickpeas in a food processor and pulse until chickpeas are pureed.
With either method, continue with the following. Heat a large, heavy bottomed frying pan on medium high heat until water sizzles. Preheat oven to 350F. Form meat into 1 1/4 inch by 1/4 inch thick flat patties. When pan is hot, pour just enough oil to create a small skim of oil. Enough that they won’t stick! Brown patties on one side, then flip and repeat. Put into a 9″13″ cake pan and reserve until all of them are browned. The chickpea flour ones made 19, and whole chickpeas made 26. When all are browned, cover with tinfoil and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until heated through.
I really hope you try this kind of exotic, fast, frugal, and fun meal soon!