22 July 2012

Mmm...Canada: Wild boar chops with red wine and mushroom sauce

My weekly visit to Matt my butcher, is always a treat. Apart from having wonderful meat, he's a font of great information and advice and he usually has something that tempts my culinary soul. The other week was no different. My eyes brightened as he told me Perth Pork, a local family-run farm, delivered gorgeous wild boar chops to his shop.

Quite honestly I'm not entirely certain that my part of the world has indigenous swine, but it really doesn't matter. The de Martines have done what has occurred time and time again since Canada was settled--they brought over livestock and reared them for our tables. I haven't been on a tour yet, but I'd love to be able to visit their farm.

Needless to say, when I saw the almost claret red meat, surrounded with an almost snow white cap of fat, I had to take a couple of chops home with me. Boar--like most game--is strongly flavoured. I love its deep flavour--it makes a nice change from its pallidly banal domesticated cousins. After some research (and a bit of a trip down memory lane to the cinghiale I had in Tuscany far too long ago), I decided to whip up a simple marinade.

Play with the spicing, to satisfy your palate. I pan fried the chops, but I think this would be nicely done on a barbecue. Serve with grilled or roasted potatoes and grilled veggies.

Wild Boar Chops with red wine mushroom sauce
Serves two


For the Marinade
250ml (1c) red wine, such as a barolo, cabernet sauvignon, or merlot
0.5tsp (2.5ml) salt
0.5tsp (2.5ml) pepper
0.5tsp (2.5ml) dried thyme
6-8 juniper berries, crushed
1Tbsp (15ml) olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed

2 wild boar chops, trimmed of excess fat, if the rind is too thick
olive oil
1Tbsp (15ml) butter
227g (0.5lb/one container) mixed mushrooms, choppped
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced

Mix the marinade in a zippy bag. Set the chops in and let marinate, in the fridge, from four hours to overnight.

About 15 minutes before cooking, remove the chops from the marinade, and blot dry with kitchen towels. Do not discard the marinade.

Grill, or sautee the chops until done.

While the chops are cooking, slick a pan with olive oil and melt in a tablespoon of butter. When hot, add the chopped mushrooms and sautee. Add the shallots and garlic and stir until perfumed. Tip in the marinade and stir well. Cook, reducing the wine to a thick syrup. Balance flavours to taste.

I'm a quill for hire!

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