Wild Boar Porchetta With Kumquat Mostarda

Wild boar is a tough animal. A whole life lived running and rooting makes it very muscular, which needs to be taken into account when trying to make it delicious. Slow and low is the rule with this dish (AKA braising). If you don’t have 12 (or 24 hours) to cook it, cook something else. That said, most of the work is done by the oven, so the actual prep time is about 20 minutes.

2 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp olive oil 1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes 1 anchovy fillet, minced (intensifies the other flavors rather than giving a fishy taste) Salt and pepper 2 quarts chicken stock (home made if possible, but store bought works too) Several sprigs fresh thyme, rosemary, and oregano, finely minced Butcher’s twine Large shoulder wild boar meat. (This can be bought from Broken Arrow Ranch if you don’t know any hunters. Make sure to tell them I sent you.)

1. Heat oven to 200F.

2. Butterfly the meat, gently separating at its natural seams first with your fingers then with a knife, until it is about 2 inches thick (don’t stress too much about getting it perfect, the idea of this step is to get the herbs into the meat, so you just want to make sure to get into the center).

3. Mix herbs, oil, garlic, salt and pepper into a paste, and rub all over inside of roast, and then use twine to tie it up. This takes some practice to get perfect, but it doesn’t really need to be, just make sure it’s all together. There’s a good video here.

4. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, anchovy, and boar to large pot with a tight fitting lid (liquid should come up at least halfway on the meat). Bring to a boil on the stove, then place in oven for 10-20 hours, checking periodically to make sure you have enough liquid, and turn roasts over after 6 hours of cooking. Seems like a long time, but just put it on before you go to bed, and the next morning it’ll be done.

Gleaned Kumquat Mostarda

This is nice and simple. The hardest part is making sure you get all the kumquat seeds out.

2 lbs freshly gleaned kumquats (collected from a place they would have otherwise gone to waste, like a neighbor’s back yard) 1 cup white wine 1 cup sugar 2 tbsp mustard seeds 2 tbsp mustard powder 2 tbsp champagne vinegar

1. Blanch the fruit. Place in salted, boiling water for 5 minutes, then remove to a bath of ice water (this helps them keep their color).

2. Take out all the seeds, then rough chop the fruit.

3. Bring the wine and sugar to a boil, dissolve the sugar.

4. Add the fruit, mustard seed, vinegar, and mustard powder, and gently simmer for 10 minutes

That’s it! Let the pork rest about 15 minutes before cutting, and serve with a bit of the mustard. (I like to put it under the meat, but it’s your call). I realize what you’re thinking…”20 hours! I’ll never make that.” But you should, because all it takes is a bit of planning, and it’s amazingly delicious. The low, intense flavors of the boar offset by the high citrus notes of the fruit make me hungry just thinking about it.