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Updated: Sep 19, 2021

Wild Boar Picadillo Meatballs Recipe
Photo by Larry White

I figured that I would kick off my first dish of the Fall season with something that reminds me of family, friends and the holidays. During family holiday gatherings you can always find a slow-cooker sitting on the countertop filled juicy meatballs swimming in a sweet & sour combination of barbecue sauce, apple cider vinegar and grape jelly. Here I'm putting a spin on two Latin American classics to recreate my family favorite dish with flavors that scream cool weather, lit fireplaces and wool shirts.

Now most people are familiar with the famous picadillo that usually consists of pork or beef, raisins and almonds. But the term escabeche is a word that most people are unfamiliar with. The quick explanation is that it is a sauce that more than likely contains vinegar, wine, stock and with its Mexican roots, canela cinnamon. There are French versions of this sauce that are usually a little richer than the Mexican Versions, but maybe we can get into in a future recipe.


For the Meatballs

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground wild boar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (preferably Mexican canela)

  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds

  • 1/2 cup raisins

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lard, olive oil or almond oil

For the Escabeche

  • 2 tablespoons butter or lard

  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (preferably Mexican Canela)

  • 1/4 teaspoon cloves

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/2 cup fig balsamic vinegar

  • 1/2 sweet red wine

  • 2 cups pork stock, venison stock or chicken stock

  • 2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds or benne seeds

  • salt to taste


  1. Combine all of the ingredients for the meatballs except the oil into a large bowl and mix very well until fully incorporated. Shape the meatballs into 30-35 portions. Heat a medium sized pot over medium heat and add the cooking oil. Working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides. Set the meatballs to the side.

  2. In the same pot add the butter and melt over medium low heat. Add the flour and cook while stirring frequently until it is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.

  3. Add the remaining ingredients for the sauce an stir until combined and ensure there are no lumps from the flour.

  4. Add the meatballs and lower the heat until you have a slow simmer. Cover the pot and cook the meatballs for around 20 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through. If the sauce is too thick, thin out with a little stock. Garnish the meatballs with cilantro, pumpkin or sesame seeds and serve over rice. If not serving right away, the meatballs will keep in the refrigerator for around 4 days.


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Meet Larry White

Chef Larry White

Hey folks, I'm Larry. The recipes you'll find here are inspired by my years as a chef, travels as a hunter, and being a father. I cook from these experiences, so my food ranges anywhere from fun and creative to traditional and to what somewhat family style comfort food.     

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