Every Christmas I cook at least one dish with chestnuts. This year I went wild. I purchased two lovely pieces of boneless wild boar from Foodsaver Stores and made a gorgeous, delicious sauce with chestnuts and balsamic vinegar. Vinegar tenderizes the meat so marinating is essential. Serve this rich dish with buttery mashed potatoes.
- 1 kg Foodsaver wild boar (you can substitute pork tenderloin)
- 250 ml “Kambos” fresh orange juice
- 250 ml white wine
- 125 ml “koumandaria” or port*
- 125 ml “Top” balsamic vinegar
- 7-8 thyme sprigs*
- Maldon smoked sea salt
- Maldon black pepper
- 2 Tbs Minerva extra virgin olive oil
- 2 slices bacon, chopped
- 250 gr Ardo chopped shallots
- 1 Tbs Ardo chopped garlic
- 3 Tbs Lurpak butter
- 250 ml beef broth*
- 2 Tbs honey*
- About two cups Ardo cooked chestnuts
- 1 Tbs all-purpose flour
*all ingredients from Foodsaver stores except those marked with an asterisk
Put boar pieces in a deep bowl. Pour over the juice, wine, koumandaria and vinegar. Add thyme sprigs, cover and marinate in the fridge for 24-48 hours.
When ready to cook, remove boar pieces from the marinade and dry with paper towels. Keep marinade, discard thyme. Tie pieces with kitchen twine to help keep their shape. Or don’t. it works both ways. Season boar with salt and pepper.
In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sear the boar pieces on all sides until nicely coloured. Boar will not be cooked through at this stage. Remove meat from pot and set aside in a heatproof bowl.
Add bacon to the pot and cook a minute or two. Add shallots, garlic and 2 tablespoons butter. Cook, stirring occasionally and scraping all the good stuff from the bottom of the pan, until shallots are soft and beginning to colour.
Return meat to the pot. Pour over the reserved marinade, beef stock and honey. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for 2 hours (if using tenderloin, reduce braising time to 1 hour). After two hours, add the chestnuts to the pot and simmer 30 minutes more.
Remove meat from pot and transfer to a cutting board. Remove sting and slice. To thicken the gorgeous delicious sauce, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a small frying pan. Add one heaped tablespoon flour and cook stirring until beginning to brown. Transfer butter-flour mixture to the sauce, bring to the boil and cook stirring occasionally until it reaches the desired consistency.
Serve boar on a platter and spoon over some of the sauce. Transfer the remaining sauce in a sauce boat and serve with rice or mashed potatoes.