Now that we are in the middle of summer and it seems like fall and winter are a distant thought, my mind never drifts too far from the wild. While I can’t always be in the woods, I do have a freezer full of wild game that helps me relive all those great experiences. I don’t claim to be a great chef but I have found a few sources who have helped elevate my wild game cooking. This recipe I took from The Wild Chef, which has become a good reference website for me as there lots of good recipes on there.
Looking through my wild game at what had been lost to the back of the freezer, I found a few packages of turkey. Wanting to put my grinder to some use after several months of being idle, I settled on trying a meatball recipe. While the recipe I used called for venison, I figured meat was meat.
First I started by cubing the turkey along with a little pork fat that we happened to have from a pig we bought. I’m not sure I would have needed the fat but we have a lot of it and I thought it might help give some flavor and help the meatball hold together better as wild game tends to be very lean.
Once I had the meat in cubes I placed it on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer until the meat was firm but not frozen through. Having the meat firm up really helps the grinding process. I also put the grinder parts in the freezer as well just to keep everything as cold as possible. I’ve found the colder I can keep everything the better grind I get. So into the grinder went the meat and fat.
I chose a course grind and this was the end product which I was very happy with.
Once I had my ground meat I just followed the recipe listed in the link above. Here are some pictures of the cooking process.
While the recipe from The Wild Chef does not say to brown the meatballs before putting them in the oven, it’s just the way I’ve always done meatballs. Chalk that one up to that’s the way grandma taught me to do it. I don’t thing it would have turned out much different other than the outside of the meatball might have been a little less crisp. A few other modifications that I did were sub the panko bread crumbs for regular bread crumbs as we didn’t have any panko in the house. The other ingredients I forgot were the fresh basil and honey, both of which I had but somehow forgot to add. Maybe it was the two kids vying for my attention who got me distracted or my hurried state to get dinner on the table; either way these ingredients didn’t make it in. They still turned out great and were promptly devoured by my young taste testers. My wife was even impressed enough to put this in the “let’s do that again” column. While I made this with rice for dinner, I think would be a great appetizer dish too.
Here’s to YUM!!! Spicy Teriyaki & Sriracha Glazed Meatballs