After our last experiment in wild boar, I was keen to try and find a different cut of the meat which had all the flavour of the steaks but none of the dryness. Slow cooked spare rib chops seemed to be the way to go and I was pleasantly suprised to find these were a third of the price of the steaks and only cost £3.20 for two reasonably sized chops at Borough Market.
I intended to braise them in a sauce slowly for two hours to get them tender. The problem was which sauce to use. I knew the orange, juniper and red wine combination had worked well before but I wanted to experiment more with the flavours of this meat before I started repeating old ideas.
When I’m trying out a new ingredient for the first time, I usually turn to the internet for guidance. Unfortunately the problem with ‘unusual’ foods is that not many people have tried them and good recipes are few and far between. Even something like wild boar, which has been eaten for centuries yields few useful results simply because it isn’t all that popular now.
The only recipe that caught my eye, one for boar chops with mustard, honey and apricot was a broken link . Well, at least I had an idea of what to try. I sent Goon out shopping for some apricot jam, dijon mustard and accompaniments for our meal.
I made a mixture of about 25% dijon mustard, 25% wholegrain mustard and 50% apricot jam. On tasting this I decided it was sweet enough without any honey, so I just put the chops in a baking dish with some rosemary then poured over the glaze. The chops went in the oven for two hours at gas mark 3 while I made some potatoes dauphinoise.
It seems we found exactly what we were looking for in these chops. The meat melted in the mouth but had just as much flavour as the steaks. I’m really confused as to why these were cheaper than the steaks, which were verging on chewy even when tenderised and lightly cooked. Could it just be the extra cooking time?
The only thing that went wrong for this dish was the presentation. Thinking carefully about the visual aesthetics as well as the flavours, I decided that red cabbage with juniper would be the best accompaniment. I instructed Goon to get either this, savoy cabbage or another green vegetable of his choice if he couldn’t find any. Goon came back with white cabbage. So both accompaniments to this dish were rather pallid and the plate as a whole was not very photo worthy.
But here is a picture of the cooked glazed chop anyway.