Like most artistic chaps, I love to cook. And, the holidays always find me in the kitchen, creative juices flowing, conjuring up some concoction from something wild I have just killed. Christmastime, my meat of choice is wild boar. You'll be hard-pressed to find a medieval or royal yuletide feast in which either a wild boar head isn't on display or a roasted pig isn't part of the main course. These ties to ancient nobility and the sheer regality of this beast somehow make it an appropriate main course to me this time of year. And, I like my meats in wine. And, during this festive season only one wine will do, a cheery wine, a goodly wine, a port wine, the fifth essence of the Christmas spirit.
Here's my roasted loin of wild boar with black walnut port sauce, bean sprouts with shiitake mushrooms and persimmon/cranberry relish.
For the sauce
750 ml of a nice strong port, 1 cup rabbit stock or duck stock, 2 to 3 rosemary sprigs, 2 tablespoons of honey (wildflower if you can find it), 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup black walnuts (1/4 cup toasted for now and save a 1/4 cup raw for finished sauce. Black walnuts are not like a normal walnut, they are super aromatic and a tad oily, almost as if they have been marinating in alcohol. And they smell so good, especially in combination with the port and rosemary. But save a fresh 1/4 cup to add to the finished sauce)
toast 1/4 cup black walnuts then add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil reducing down over twenty to thirty minutes and add 1/4 cup raw black walnuts just prior to saucing.
For the Loin
rub the loin down with olive oil, rosemary and cracked black peppercorns
add a bit of olive oil to a glass baking dish and open-cook loin at 425-degrees for about an hour turning loin every 15 minutes, allow to cool before slicing
Shiitake & Bean Sprouts
sauté mushrooms adding bean sprouts (Very simple to do. Wild boar eat mushrooms and root in the ground and for me it is almost like paying homage to the boar to pair it in this way. And, I do find the earthiness of the shrooms and sprouts to be a nice compliment to the gaminess of the boar and tartness of the cranberries )
Persimmon & Cranberry Relish
slice and dice 1 cup of dried cranberries and 1/2 cup ripe persimmons (I stress the term ripe here, you'll know whether they are ripe or not, they need to be sweet), add 2 teaspoons pure apple cider vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper and 1/4 cup cranberry sauce