Many of you who are resident in the Midlands and the South of England will recall a Friday not long ago when it rained very, very heavily all day. With such weather (which happened to catch me umbrella-less as I was wandering around Borough) it wasn’t too suprising that I was encouraged to buy and cook some proper cold weather food. And so this was born.
Even though it is late July, here in the UK it is still casserole weather. This particular one is made from wild boar, rum and orange and was inspired by this recipe (last one on the page) for a roasting joint. I’ve adapted it to suit little pieces of slow cooking meat.
Wild Boar, Rum and Orange Casserole
(plenty for two when served with mashed potato and perhaps a green vegetable)
- 400g diced casseroling wild boar.
- zest and most of the juice of 1 orange
- large sprig of rosemary
- 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 small cloves garlic, minced
- handful of pancetta (optional- we had some spare, so I used it)
- 4 small tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 medium carrot chopped
- substantial splash of rum ( I used a dark navy rum because we happened to already have some, but any would do really)
- a large glass of white wine
- vegetable stock to cover the meat in your casserole dish
Brown the boar in a hot frying pan. Transfer to a casserole dish.
Fry the onion, carrot, herbs and garlic gently in a little butter in the pan until the onion is soft and the carrot partly cooked. Add the pancetta and cook it through.
Add this mixture to the casserole along with the tomato and grate in the orange zest. Season with salt and pepper
Cover the meat with white wine and stock and place the casserole in the oven. Cook this, covered, for about 1.5 hours at 140C, then remove the lid, add a generous splash of rum and cook for a further 30 minutes. By this point the boar should be tender.
If the gravy isnot thick enough, pour it off into a saucepan and let it boil vigourously until it reaches the desired consistency, then return it to the casserole.
Taste the dish and add the orange juice (and maybe more rum) to taste Serve over mashed potato.
This has been my favourite way to have wild boar so far. In the past, I’vefound it hard to balance the ‘nuttiness’ of the meat, but this casserole solved that problem. I think that letting the boar cook in white wine is what did the trick.
Goon really liked the dish but he said it reminded him of school dinners. Obviously, this really worried me for a second, but it turns out what he meant was ‘he’s not had a stew with carrots in since he stopped having school dinners.’
Slow cooking really seems to be the best way of preparing boar. The frying steaks are expensive and no amount of tenderising seems to do them much good. This casseroling boar cost me a mere £3 for just over 400g. I do seem to be getting a small discount for being a regular customer at Sillfield Farm, but you’d still pay less than £4 for that amount. It’s a very good deal!
So, if your local farmers market has boar in stock, I thoroughly recommend trying it. It has a fantastic flavour and is excellent value for money.