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The third recipe in our Bushbuck Bites Christmas series is for Wild Pork Mini Meatloaves. Now, admittedly, meatloaf might not be a traditional Christmas recipe in New Zealand or Australia, but when you experience the wild flavours of this recipe paired with roasted apples and nectarines, you'll quickly loosen your grip on tradition. There's no doubt that this is a festive dish that celebrates the unique flavours of wild pork and it's sure to go over well at any Christmas gathering. Thanks to Kaelah James aka Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, for this banger.
Meatloaf is a dish that's centuries old, harking back to ancient Rome and medieval Europe. Traditionally considered budget fare and a way to make sure all of the offcuts of meat were put to good use. However, over the years meatloaf has evolved to become a creative dish that has been reimagined countless times in home kitchens and top restaurants. It probably made its way to New Zealand with European settlers and it remains a popular way of using ground meat to produce a flavourful and fulfilling dish. This wild take on meatloaf was made using a boar that was picked up by Kaelah and her family in Kaikōura, New Zealand. Wild boar is known for its unique, complex flavour which comes from its foraging diet. The meat is a lot leaner and darker than the pork mince you'll find on supermarket shelves. And when you whip it into a meatloaf, served with roasted apples and nectarines, you'll discover an entirely new and exciting way to experience this wild New Zealand delicacy.
Wild Pork Mini Meatloaves
1 Kg wild pork mince
1 bulb fennel, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 Tbsp milk
1 Tbsp dried tarragon
1 tsp salt
1 tsp crack black pepper
12 Slices of prosciutto
1/4 cups Maple syrup
Roasted Apple and Nectarine Salad
1/4 cup Maple syrup
6 Red apples
Tub of Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
Extra maple syrup for drizzling
Mint leaves, sliced for garnish
To serve: 6 mini loaf tins
Preheat an oven to 200C fan bake.
Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and add the fennel, onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Place breadcrumbs and milk into a large bowl, mix and let the breadcrumbs soften for a few minutes.
Add pork mince, tarragon, salt & pepper, cooled fennel mixture and mix well to combine.
Grease 6 mini loaf tins and line each with 2 slices of prosciutto.
Divide pork mixture evenly between the tins. I use damp hands to form the mix into loaf shapes before placing into the tins.
Fold the prosciutto over and glaze with maple syrup.
Dice apples into chunky wedges and remove the cores.
Halve nectarines and remove the seeds. It's ok if the seed doesn't easily come out, you can remove it later.
Place into a baking dish and drizzle apples and nectarines in olive oil and maple syrup.
Place meatloaves and fruit into the oven and bake for about 15 mins or until the fruit is soft and meat loaves are cooked through.
Smear cream cheese onto a plate and spoon the roasted fruit and juices on top.
Sprinkle over pecans, drizzle with a bit more maple syrup and garnish with chopped mint leaves.
Meat loves can be served hot or cold.
Kaelah James, aka Kaelah's Wild Kai Kitchen, is a New Zealand speafisher, huntress and incredible wild food cook. She's built up a following on Instagram by sharing her delicious recipes and she's now come on board as a Bushbuck ambassador and contributor to The Campfire blog. She will be sharing wild food and catch-and-cook recipes, as well as the stories behind hunting and gathering the kai.