Wild boar brings a whole other level of flavor to the classic Italian risotto balls. I love experimenting with different cuisines, and given that wild boar is common among Italian dishes, this one was a bit of a no-brainer for me.
I’ve made arancini many ways, and I’ve seen even more ways of making them, but I always resort to the classic method of making them with the full process of making risotto from scratch.
You can use different grains of rice for this, like carnaroli or arborio. This recipe calls for arborio rice as I like its texture; it’s not overly sticky but still forms well enough to hold together.
Tips For Making Arancini
At the heart of it, arancini are a simple dish to make. However, there are a few things that can make it easier.
- Make the risotto early – If you know in advance that you want to make arancini, make the risotto the night before. Typically the recipe calls for a minimum of one-hour refrigeration to allow the risotto to cool and set, but if you can do this earlier, the rice will be easier to work with when it comes to forming the balls.
- Use a glove -The technique which I find best for forming the balls is by spreading the rice on my palm and stuffing it with the other hand. However, you may find that the rice wants to stick to your hand; in this case, it’s handy to have a nitrile glove on the forming hand to prevent the rice from sticking.
- Make the ball in two parts- Typically, when I am making arancini, it’s with cheese, like most arancini recipes. However, if you want to make them with meat, in this case, wild boar, it’s more challenging to form a ball. The solution to this is to form the ball in two parts. First, lay down one side on your hand and add the meat and cheese filling. Second, scoop up some more rice with your other hand. Press the two palms of rice together and form into a ball.
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 3/4 cups arborio rice
- 2 medium shallots roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 lb ground wild boar
- olive oil for frying
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1 ball mozzarella
- 2 tbsp walnuts crushed
- 2 tbsp torn fresh basil
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
- Boil broth
- Heat olive oil in a medium skillet or pan. Add in garlic and onion and gently saute, stirring often
- Add arborio rice to pan and continue to stir. Cook the rice on the pan until it becomes translucent (approx 1 minute).
- Add the wine and continue to stir. When all the wine has been absorbed, begin adding stock one ladle at a time. Wait for the previous ladel to be absorbed before adding another, all the while continuously stirring. When the rice is cooked (approx 15 minutes) stir in the parmesan, walnuts, and butter.
- Spread the risotto on a tray lined with baking paper and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours
- After the risotto has cooled, start heating the vegetable oil to 350F. Remove from risotto the fridge, scoop a palm-sized amount into your hand and flatten it into your palm. Place the wild boar, a torn piece of mozzarella, and basil in the center of the patty. Carefully fold the patty over on itself, add more rice if necessary.
- Take the now formed ball and gently roll it in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs.
- Gently lower the ball into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, approx 5 minutes.
Rusty enjoys connecting food and nature and has done so since a child. He was fortunate enough to explore cuisine worldwide and work at great European restaurants. He now enjoys thinking up new recipes that he can find around him in nature in North America.