Elk balls and wild boar balls were on Smokin J’s Barbeque’s menu at Eggtoberfest 2019 at Stone Mountain Park.
Meatballs that is….
What is Eggtoberfest, you ask?
It is an annual cooking event, held each October, in Atlanta, to celebrate the versatility of the Big Green Egg ceramic cooker.
“Eggheads,” register months in advance for the opportunity to feed, over 3000 attendees, whatever culinary creations they can develop. The only requirement…food must be cooked on the Big Green Egg.
Cooks spend plenty of money and time devising menus.
No money is dispersed. The only reward is a friendly compliment or being recognized as the “People’s Choice,” for the day.
What to cook at Eggtoberfest?
Being our 12th Eggtoberfest, we struggled to come up with a unique recipe for visitors to sample.
After JoAnn discovered two kinds of exotic meat at our local Lowes Foods, meatballs were a natural choice to cook on the Big Green Egg; especially, since we could prepare them and an accompanying sauce ahead of time.
Ease of clean up is another factor to consider when planning a menu at Eggtoberfest.
The process of loading in and loading out is crowded and chaotic. CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO HERE!
Cooks must bring everything they need…right down to the toothpicks for our meatballs.
One table, two chairs, a large egg, a bag of charcoal, the plate setter and a small grease pan are the only items Big Green Egg organizers provide the cooks.
Everything else is on us, the “demonstrators.”
Used EGGS, after the event, are sold at a discount price.
Doug’s first (of several) Big Green Egg’s was a demo, purchased after the 2006 Eggtoberfest, The first one we ever attended.
The incredible popularity of the Atlanta Eggtoberfest has resulted in a number of regional Eggfest throughout the country.
Preparing our Eggtoberfest menu
Both the elk and wild boar are very lean proteins, so we tried two different approaches with the meatballs.
Durham Ranch elk receive a vegetarian diet and hormones are prohibited. Their boar is allow to walk free-range, but remains an all natural product.
For the boar, we imparted a lot of flavor with onions, bread crumbs, garlic and Parmesan cheese.
We prepared the meat very similar to making a meatloaf, but instead of a glaze, we topped each meatball with our signature competition barbecue sauce, just before serving.
For the elk, which contains very little fat, we added 1/2 of ground pork, per 1 lb. of ground elk.
Besides the standard garlic, onions, salt and pepper – we incorporated a panade, to bind the pork and elk together.
Panade – a thick paste made by mixing breadcrumbs, flour, rice, etc. with water, milk, stock, butter or sometimes egg yolks.
After forming the meatballs, we flash froze them by placing them in a single layer on a baking sheet, lined with wax paper.
Once frozen, we placed the meatballs in zip lock bags and kept frozen until the morning of Eggtoberfest.
To stand up to the richness of the elk/pork meatballs, we devised a bourbon sauce which was tangy, but still sweet.
Quickly submerging the meatballs into the warmed sauce, just prior to serving, provided just the right contrast of flavors.
Pictured are our Elk Meatballs with a Blazin Bourbon Sauce!
The pan holding the meatballs is wonderful for cooking on the BGE!
Preferated to allow smoke and heat to rise.
Round shape allows it to sit on one side of the Egg, while our sauce warms on the other side.
The pan comes with a heat resistant handle, which can easily be removed.
Great for meatballs, fish, vegetables or stir-fry!
If you are a foodie, owner of a Big Green Egg, or thinking about becoming an owner, we strongly suggest you attending an Eggfest near you.
For a reasonable price, you can walk around, sampling food prepared by Big Green Egg connoisseurs.
Ask questions about using and cooking on the EGG.
And just have a good time talking about food and enjoying the aroma of delicious food, without doing any dishes.
Blazing Bourbon Sauce
- 1 14 1/2 oz Tomato Puree canned
- 3/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Your favorite Bourbon We used Six & Twenty Bourbon made in Greenville, South Carolina
- 1/2 cup Packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 cup Heinz Ketchup Make sure it does NOT contain High-Fructose Corn Syrup
- 1/4 cup Pure cane syrup You can use molasses
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 3-4 tsps Chili Powder Adust for how ever spicy you want it
- 3/4 tsp all-spice
- Place all ingredients in a medium size sauce pan.
- Use a whisk to thoroughly combine
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook for about 10 minutes
- Turn off sauce and let it cool, until slightly thickened.
- Dip meatballs in sauce and serve.