Ladies and gents, our now traditional Meatball Friday continues today with this extraordinary offering: Blueberry Pecan Wild Boar Meatballs. Yes, you read that one right. That is totally wild boar!
If you’ve never had wild boar before, don’t worry, you’re not the only one: this was a first for me too. Truth be told, I wasn’t even the one who made the lucky find. Indeed, it was my best friend who found and purchased the prized meat when he recently visited a small butcher shop. He was so happy with his purchase that he immediately sent me a picture, hoping to brag a little (mind you, we’re both a bit excessive when it comes to that and tend to send each other pictures of practically everything we do, buy, see or eat). HA! BIG MISTAKE! He never should’ve done that: I immediately proceeded to claim the thing, shamelessly begged for it, told him that I had to have it, HAD TO; let me have it please, please, please, pretty please with tons of all kinds of sugar on top.
Being the adorable, sweet-natured guy that he is, he promised that he would save it for me and give it to me the next time we would see each other. Luckily, that happened to be the very next day; I simply couldn’t wait and was BEYOND excited at the prospect of tasting this intriguing meat.
Good thing my friend had purchased 3 pounds in total and gave me all of it, too, so I got to save 2 pounds to make the meatballs and then proceeded to pan fry the rest of it with nothing but a little bit of salt and pepper, so I could experience the true, natural taste of the meat.
My initial reaction was one of complete surprise: wild boar tastes absolutely nothing like I’d imagined. I thought for sure that it would have a very strong, gamey flavor. I expected to taste the forest in every bite, you know… Not even close!!! Truth is, wild boar has an extremely mild, delicate, yet extremely rich and buttery aroma. I would describe it as a cross between pork and dark turkey meat. It’s extremely flavorful and definitely, totally delicious!
It proved to be, however, very, very high in fat. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen meat render so much fat before. Not that it’s a bad thing really, cuz it’s all good fat, but if you’re looking for a lean protein option, then wild boar might not be your best bet…
With that in mind, if you wanted to make these meatballs but couldn’t get your hands on the ground wild boar, or wanted to keep things on the leaner side, you could very well use ground pork, ground turkey, or even better yet, a combination of both.
But if you can ever get your hands on this truly delicious meat, then by all means, go for it. I’m ready to bet that you too, will probably fall in love with it at first bite.
Oh, and for the record, because he was such a good sport and relinquished his precious find so selflessly, my friend inherited more than half this batch of finished meatballs.
I say he made a pretty good deal after all! Pretty good deal indeed…
I’m starting to feel like my meatball making instructions and pictures are getting a little bit redundant… After all, I do tend to make my meatballs the same way all the time: only the list of ingredients changes with every new creation!
Still, I hope you won’t mind me sharing them again, if only for the benefit of those who are visiting for the first time (if that’s you, a warm hello and welcome and thank you so much for being here!)
Then, combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl and knead well with clean hands, until fully combined.
Loosely form the meat mixture into 48 smallish meatballs, roughly the size of a ping-pong ball and place them on the prepared pan.
To make that task easier, the use of a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop is highly recommended.
Bake the meatballs at 450°F for 10 minutes and then decrease the oven temperature to 350°F and continue cooking for another 8 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown.
While the meatballs are in the oven, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a saute pan with fitting lid, whisk until well combined and bring to a slow simmer.
Add the par-baked meatballs to the simmering sauce and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced to a thick glaze.
Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a few dried blueberries and a handful of chopped pecans.
Serve without delay and prepare to have your mind blown!
- 900g (2lb) ground wild boar meat
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup (50g | 1.8oz) rolled oats
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- 1 cup (140g | 4.9oz) finely chopped raw pecans
- ½ cup (75g | 2.6oz) dried blueberries
- 1 tsp dried mustard
- 1 tsp salt (I use Himalayan salt)
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 cup (240ml) chicken broth
- ¾ cup (75g | 2.6oz) blueberries, fresh or frozen
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp unpasteurized honey
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- fresh thyme, dried blueberries and chopped pecans
- Preheat your oven to 450°F; line a 18" x 26" baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large mixing bowl and knead well with clean hands, until fully combined.
- Loosely form the meat into 48 small meatballs, roughly the size of a ping-pong ball and place them on the prepared pan. To make your job easier, the use of a small spring-loaded ice cream scoop is highly recommended
- Bake the meatballs at 450°F for 10 minutes and then decrease the oven temperature to 350°F and continue cooking for another 8 minutes, or until they start to turn golden brown.
- Meanwhile, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a saute pan with fitting lid, whisk until well combined and bring to a slow simmer.
- Add the par-baked meatballs to the simmering sauce and simmer uncovered over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the sauce is reduced to a thick glaze.
- Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme, a few dried blueberries and a handful of chopped pecans. Serve without delay.