As winter hits hard in Southern Ontario, I find myself increasingly in need of comfort food. Something warm, rich, and homey to chase away the winter blues. While searching my freezer I found one last tightly-sealed packet of ground black bear meat, which I decided would be perfect for meatballs.
These meatballs are super-simple to make, and could easily just be skewered on toothpicks and served, but a thick toasty meatball sub seemed the best use for them, especially since NFL playoffs were right around the corner. The marinara is also straightforward, and then it’s just a matter of putting it all on some fresh rolls with melted provolone.
The meatballs were tender with an intense wild flavour, while the marinara provided good acidity to balance the rich meat and melted cheese. The meatball and marinara combo would likewise go just as well on a classic spaghetti dinner, and I saved four of the meatballs for just such a future occasion when I needed a big plate of pasta.
This was the last of the bear meat that I had on hand, and as always, the story of that bear came flooding back as I ate the final bites, leaving me anxious for the next time I can add another bruin to the freezer.
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