Wild boar isn’t a meat that we as a family eat very often, but it’s really delicious and this recipe is well worth having a go at if it’s your first time. The flavour is a cross between free range pork and venison and it’s very important not to overcook the loin so as to ensure the juiciest possible result and hold on to that amazing taste. I didn’t mess around with it too much either, using a simple herby marinade to compliment rather than overpower.
Taken from the BASC website at the time if writing…
‘Wild boar (Sus scrofa) were once native to Great Britain but have been extinct for some 300 years and following escapes or deliberate releases from wild boar farms or animal collections, they have now established breeding populations in the wild
The main colonies are in Kent/East Sussex, Dorset/Devon and the Forest of Dean with regular reports of further releases and sightings which have included areas of Wales and Scotland.
The wild boar is the ancestor of the domestic pig and since the first escapes there have been reports of hybridisation especially in the vicinity of outdoor pig rearing units. The actual scale of this problem is unknown but hybrids will typically display a shorter snout with a dished profile, smaller shoulders, larger ears, a curly tail and the absence of thick brown under-fur. Pure bred European Boar are likely to be longer in the leg, typically dark in colour with a coarse bristly coat, a large head, long straight snout, relatively flattened body, and a straight tail.’
The meat itself isn’t hard to come by. The beast that my piece of meat came from was shot in the Forest of Dean by a friend of ours, and likely to be a hybrid animal as mentioned above, but UK wild boar is widely available online, both wild and farmed varieties, and there are also stockist who import true wild boar from areas such as Poland. This meat is likely to taste gamier due to being from an undiluted breeding pool.
This recipe is perfect for cooking on the BBQ and ideal at this time of year. Served up with some beautiful veg (I originally cooked this dish in June, so pick a seasonal veg rather than the asparagus that I used), and a big mound of Boulangère Potatoes, it’s the perfect winter dish.
Approx 1kg wild boar loin (mine came to me without skin)
4 sprigs of fresh sage, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, minced
A pinch of Malden sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
I like to marinade the meat overnight if possible, but a few hours will do. Place the meat in a suitably sized dish or zip lock bag, combine the sage, garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil and massage it into the meat. Set aside in the fridge for as long as you’ve got.
Set up your BBQ for 2 zone cooking. You’ll need an area of direct and indirect heat for this recipe. Look for a temperature of around 190˚c / 380˚f.
Remove your meat from the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook. When you’re grill is preheated, give the loin a sprinkle with another pinch of Maldon salt and sear for 2 minutes on either side before moving over to indirect heat and closing the lid on your BBQ. You want to take the meat up to 60˚c / 140˚f internal temperature, so an instant read thermometer or a digital wireless thermometer is ideal. The loin won’t take very long to cook at all, roughly 30 minutes, so keep a close eye on it, as you really don’t want to over do it.
Once cooked, remove from the grill and rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving with your favourite veg and potato dish. I like Boulangère Potatoes here, as it has it’s own buttery sauce which means I don’t have to faff around with any kind of gravy.
Go on, get yourself some wild boar and give it a go.