Many, many years ago, when I was a lad, I had an ear-ache. Nasty one too. My father, in a moment of altruistic generosity, arrived home that evening from work with a comic. It was called ‘Asterix the Legionary’.
It was a story about a little Gaulish warrior and his best buddy Obelix. They roamed ancient France, bashing Romans and eating wild boar. A lot of wild boar. Obelix liked to finish off three or four in one sitting, and they were always (well nearly always) eaten roasted.
Obelix could eat as many wild boar you could throw at him…
Later, as I got older, I realised it wasn’t a moment of altruistic generosity that led my father to purchase the comic. He liked it too. In fact whenever he got me one for Christmas or a birthday, he’d read it first. The cheek.
But I always wondered what wild boar was like. I mean from what I have read and heard, wild boar is like pork.
So when I took a trip to my new best-place-to-buy-food (the Farm Shop down the road) I spotted some wild boar, vacuum-packed. I knew I had to try it.
So I prepared a Wild Boar Casserole. The original recipe called for wild boar sausages and venison as well as the wild boar but I thought that was going a touch overboard. I just used:
- 1lb wild boar (mine was some kind of steak cut)
- 3 small onions
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped, crushed and generally abused
- 2 carrots
- 2/3 bottle of red wine (the recipe called for an entire bottle but sorry no way am I sticking a bottle of wine in anything without quality controlling it)
- 1 pint beef stock
- 2 tbsp flour, seasoned well
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- A punnet of chestnut mushrooms
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 cup bacon lardons or similar (e.g. pancetta, which is better)
The meat didn’t remind me of pork. Looked more like venison to me. But then it came from the wilds of…well not Surrey certainly but the wilds of somewhere, well, wild.
So I dusted the meat in flour. Then I chopped the onion and garlic…
…and fried them with the lardons…
I decided to stick a bit of truffle butter in, just to keep things moist (but you don’t need to), along with the carrots.
In went the boar, followed by the stock and the wine…
Finally the mushrooms, mustard, sage and lots of seasoning…
Then stick in the oven for about an hour and a half at 180 centigrade.
Look at that pot of unctious loveliness. And not a tin of tomatoes in sight. Now the only way to serve this is with some creamy mashed potato…
Now wild boar tastes nothing like pork. It’s like other game. Kind of like liver. But very tasty and very tender. I don’t know how ‘wild’ the wild boar was that I ate but, should I end up in Gaul in 50 BC, I know I could live off it.