Okay carnivores, enough of exotic fruits and veggies for a while. This one’s for you.
Last week I visited Black Angus Fine Meats and Game in Mississauga and picked up a thing or two, even though doing so made me feel kind of uneasy.
You see, Black Angus specializes in game meats, and although I have never been vegetarian, for some reason I feel a little meaner eating animals that aren’t used to being eaten, even though I doubt that cows, pigs and chickens are overjoyed to be the lucky ones that are usually forced to volunteer. Maybe it’s because I know that the farmed animals weren’t enjoying the freedom they were plucked away from as much as an animal that romped in the woods was. I stopped feeling quite so bad, though, when I remembered that one of the meats I chose had once looked like this:
I had chosen a French rack of wild boar, which I was drawn to more because of the cut than the animal – it looked like rack of lamb, and I was hoping that it was the cut that made rack of lamb a juicy, easy grilling option and that I would find the same results with this more uncommon meat. Spring has sprung early this year, and after a week of sun I was ready for a barbeque. At the same time, I was worried that wild boar would taste exactly like pork would and that it would be a pricier letdown (it was just shy of $40 for the 2.3 pound roast that might serve three adults). I vowed to make my husband eat hotdogs one night post-boar so that I would only be spending $20 on meat per dinner and threw it into the basket.
Here is what the roast looked like before I started…
And here is what it looked like after I had sliced the fat from it.
I was kind of surprised to see so much fat on a wild animal, but who was I to judge? Maybe my boar had eaten more than his fair share of truffles. Actually, when I read about them here, I learned that they primarily eat fruit, nuts, seeds and tubers, which I thought might have a nicer influence on the meat than whatever farmed pigs eat, helping to justify the extra cost. I also read that their population is very plentiful and widespread across Europe and Asia, even to the point where they have become pests in some areas. My guilty conscience that had once associated eating wild animals with endangering them felt relieved.
I searched for recipes on how to prepare wild boar, but didn’t find much, so I ended up cooking it very simply by brushing it with olive oil, seasoning it with coarse salt and pepper, and then brushing it again with honey. I seared it over high heat for about 5 minutes (it flared a bit, maybe because of the fat or honey or both) before I flipped it bones side down, where I cooked it over indirect medium heat, barbeque at about 400, not heating from directly beneath the meat, for another 40 minutes. It ended up being a perfectly juicy medium.
Overall Impression: Very nice, although pork-like. The meat was flavourful and juicy and was not “game-y,” as is always a worry with wild meats. I am convinced that wild boar is the best option if you know that a snobby person is coming to your house for dinner. You could casually say, “Oh, I just picked up some wild boar, I hope you haven’t had any yet this week,” and then even if they were picky with food, they would be okay with it because it would taste familiar. They would brag to their snobby buddies about what you had cooked and how delicious it was for months. Serve it with a cranberry coulis – slam dunk.
Rating: 3 Yums. Straightforward, tasty, and different.
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