I was in the supermarket the other day and came across something I’ve never encountered before: a wild boar roast. Now, I’ve seen these critters on the National Geographic channel; but I had never cooked one. I thought, this is my chance. Let’s see what it’s all about.
A wild boar is, simply, a tusked wild pig from which domestic pigs are descended. I’ve seen countless movies where the protagonists, usually uppity English and French types, go on wild boar hunts. I would tend to think it’d be a dangerous endeavor. And now I had a chance to make a roast. I’m told that wild boar is particularly popular in Tuscany, where it’s cooked in ragus, and also made into sausages. The meat is similar to pork, only darker and more intensely flavored. Note that a wild boar roast is made from the knuckle and is pre-tied to hold its shape and allow for even cooking. Please remove the string before cooking.
The recipe I contrived is more along the lines of Nuyorican cuisine, of which I am most familiar. Thus it has the usual ingredients: salt, pepper, oregano, garlic, and olive oil. On the suggestion of friend, I also added rosemary and thyme for more nuanced flavor. The meat was roasted atop potatoes (red or white), bell pepper (I used yellow, but you can use green or red pimentos), and carrots. All in all, a meal that harkens to scenes of upper class aristocrats enjoying boar and a fine Bordeaux. No, we did not get dressed up for this one. We sat in our lounge pants while listening to the Eagles as background music.
WILD BOAR ROAST
1½ pounds wild boar roast
2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into slivers
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced into rings
1 bell pepper (red, green or yellow), sliced into strips lengthwise
2 carrots, cut into ¼-inch chunks
1 pound unpeeled potatoes, washed, scrubbed and sliced into thin rounds
6 sprigs fresh thyme or ¼ teaspoon dried
6 sprigs fresh rosemary or ¼ teaspoon dried
¾ cup beef stock
¼ cup dry red wine
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Rinse boar roast under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Make incisions at equal space around the roast and stuff with garlic slivers. Season and rub roast with salt, pepper, and oregano.
- Heat olive oil in a roasting pan or oven-proof fry pan or skillet and sear the roast on all sides over medium-high heat. Remove roast and set aside.
- In the same pan, saute onion, bell pepper, carrots and potatoes for 2-3 minutes. Stir in the thyme and rosemary. Place the roast boar on top. Add the beef stock and wine. Bring to a roiling boil and place in the oven, covered, and roast for ½ to 1 hour, or as long as it takes to reach an internal temperature of 155-160 degrees with a meat thermometer. Allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Yield: 4 servings.