Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Forcemeat Encrusted Wild Boar Tenderloin with Applejack Gastrique ~ Kabocha Pomme de Terre Croquettes

     A Nice Modern Wild Boar Entrée!
     In recent years, wild game has become more popular outside the circle of hunters.  Those who are concerned about residual growth hormones or chemicals, genetic modification and farm sustainability have turned to alternative food sources.  Organic non-GMO sustainable produce is in high demand.  Grass fed free range organic beef, poultry and pork are also preferred by many modern consumers.  
     Wild game has become a popular option for consumers, because wild game is a natural food source.  Semi tame farmed free range wild game, like deer, emu and buffalo, need very little maintenance because these animals have not been domesticated to the point of becoming dependent on man made chemicals to maintain their existence.  Wild game that is not free range farmed and is gathered in the wild by hunters, does have the same natural flavor characteristics that modern man's ancient ancestors enjoyed.
     Trapping wild boar in pit traps is the oldest and safest way to hunt wild boar.  Using spears to kill the wild boar in the pit was traditionally the safest way to put wild boar on the dinner table.  In modern times, the rifle has pretty much replaced trapping boar in a deep pit trap.  The exception can be found in regions of the world where traditional hunting methods are still practiced.  Many old tribal cultures want nothing to do with modern man's inventions and they still hunt or trap the old traditional way.  
     A few weeks ago, I was talking with a couple members of the Paiute Nation in Las Vegas, about the large herd of mule deer that I recently saw in the local mountains.  The Paiute couple started talking about a recent deer hunt that they did up in Utah, which put some meat on the dinner table.  The deer hunting was done the old traditional way with hand made bow and arrow.  It was refreshing to hear about how tribal tradition was still part of the hunt, especially after years of listening to modern hunters talking about their cherished hunting rifles. 
      A wounded wild boar is ferocious and it can attack with blinding speed.  Wild boar are not docile and they will attack children or adults with no warning.  The result is usually missing limbs or death.  Wild domestic pigs can be just as ferocious and many hunters have stories about being treed by an aggressive wild hog.  Climbing a tree as fast as possible is the only possible escape.
     The overpopulation of wild hogs has become a major problem in many farming regions and in the Pacific Islands.  Hawaiians take wild hog hunting seriously and they do not mess around with these aggressive creatures.  For many Hawaiians a semi automatic 30 caliber rifle is the best weapon of choice for hunting hogs in dense jungle growth.  
     Obviously politicians have never hunted wild hogs in a Hawaiian jungle, or they would eat their own words when exclaiming how a 30 caliber semi automatic rifle is not a hunting weapon.  When a 350 pound lean mean big hog is charging fast in close quarters, a hunter has to pump as many rounds into the hog as fast as he can and hope for the best outcome, just to fend off the attack.  Wild hog hunting is very dangerous business and surviving the hunt is a hunter's prime concern.  Hawaiian hunters know this well.
     The reason that I know a bit about wild hog hunting is because I lived down by the Everglades Swamp for a long time.  A serious wild hog overpopulation problem exists in Florida.  A pack of wild hogs can destroy acres of zucchini squash fields overnight.  Many Florida farmers gladly accept wild hog hunters on their land, with the hope of controlling the wild hog pest problem.  
     Hunting hogs in hot humid Florida weather is demanding, tough, sweaty, hard work.  The average big city hunter would not last one hour in the dangerous swamps and palmetto thickets, where rattlesnakes and alligators are well over eight feet long.  Huge spiders spin webs between pine trees and the ground hornets can be thick enough to kill anything that comes along.  
     Florida hog hunting is usually done by big tough local folks who like putting wild hog meat on the family dinner table.  Because of the extreme heat and humidity in Florida, a Ruger 44 Magnum Six Gun with 240 grain or 350 grain bullets is preferred by many local wild hog hunters.  A Ruger 44 Super Blackhawk six gun with heavy loads is best, because it is easier to lug though palmetto thickets than a rifle and it will put the biggest meanest hog down with one shot.  
     I grew up in the wild Florida swamp environment, so it was like a playground to me.  Now as an adult in the big city, when I go off into the wild, few friends are willing to follow.  I learned a lot about good swamp hunting methods from local Florida folks and ate plenty of Hot Pepper Stewed Wild Hog that these folks served up over the years.  Hot chile peppers naturally mellow the flavor of wild hog meat in a stew. 

     Taming The Wild Game Meat Flavor:
     Taming the flavor of some wild game is not necessary, because the meat is naturally mild tasting.  Strong flavored wild game meat, like wild boar, has to be mellowed before cooking.  One of the oldest methods for taming strong tasting wild game, is to marinate the meat with a small amount of apple cider vinegar overnight.  Only a small amount of apple cider vinegar is needed, or the wild game meat will become pickled and it will lose its flavor characteristics.   

     Forcemeat Information:
     Basically forcemeat is the cleaned trimmings of butchered meat.  The sinew is cleaned off of the small bits of meat by hand or by pressing the meat through a wire mesh screen on a French Tambourin.  Fat is completely removed or a percentage of fat is retained.  
     Here are a few styles of forcemeat:
     • Course Whole Lean Forcemeat:  
     This type of forcemeat is rarely used and no fat is added to the mixture.  Whole lean little bits of cleaned trimmed meat are course lean forcemeat.  The trimmed little bits of meat can be pressed through a 3/16" or 1/4" wire mesh strainer to make the course forcemeat more uniform in size.  A wide mesh strainer like this will not remove sinew, so the forcemeat must be cleaned by hand.  Coarse whole forcemeat from wild boar tenderloin trimmings and chain were used in today's recipe.  Forcemeat encrusted veal loin can be prepared in a similar way.
     • Straight Forcemeat:  
     This forcemeat is 50% pork fat and 50% pork meat that is coarsely ground and mixed with any other kind of coarsely ground meat.  The mixture is usually cured.  The meat grinder removes most of the sinew. 
     • Country Style Forcemeat:  
     This forcemeat is a mixture of pork fat, pork meat and pork liver (optional) that is coarsely ground.  Garnishes can be added to the grinding mixture.  The meat grinder removes most of the sinew.
     • Gratin Forcemeat:  
     The meat is partially browned by sautéing or roasting, before it is ground or pressed through a tambourin wire screen strainer or mousseline chinoise (very fine mesh strainer).  Chicken livers for pâté are often prepared as Gratin Forcemeat.  The texture can be coarse or very fine.  Garnishes can be added.
     • Mousseline:  
     The meat must be very lean and it is pressed through a fine mesh tambourin or a mousseline chinoise.  Lean ultra finely ground meat, with no sinew, is mousseline forcemeat.   Garnishes can be added.
     The word Mousseline also refers to combining the finely ground meat with egg, cream and sometimes flour or starch to create a very light refined texture after the item is cooked.  Chicken mousseline for croquettes or galantine is a good example.  Liver, seafood or cooked vegetables can also be used to make mousseline.  
     Liver that is pressed through a mousseline strainer does not have to be bound with egg and cream.  Mousseline liver can be bound with fat to create items like liverwurst, chicken liver pâté spread, pâté foie gras or braunschweiger.  This process is closer to mousseline than a slurry emulsion.      
     A white colored veal and pork belly mousseline piped into a sausage casing can be called Weisswurst or white sausage.  
     • Slurry Emulsion Forcemeat:
     Traditional hot dogs, wieners and Frankfurters are made by creating a wet slurry of mousseline forcemeat, seasonings and liquid, with no binding agents other than fat.  The wet mousseline slurry mixture is chilled, then whisked till it becomes a thick emulsion.  
     An egg and cream bound standard mousseline of any kind can also be used to make hot dogs.  I posted a Lobster Mousseline Hot Dog recipe last year.  This style of hot dog should not be called a Frankfurter or wiener.       
     Only a mixture of pork and beef emulsion forcemeat can be used to make traditional Frankfurters or wieners in Germany.  Outside of Germany, chicken is sometimes added to the meat mixture for wieners, but not Frankfurters.     
     The emulsion forcemeat method is used to make many kinds of refined sausages and lunch meats, like weisswurst, knockwurst, bologna and mortadella.  

     Applejack Liquor:
     Applejack was America's first whiskey and it was actually used as currency during colonial times.  Workers got paid with bottles of Applejack!  Applejack is made by freezing strong fermented apple cider and then pouring the alcohol off of the frozen matter.  Freeze distilling is the oldest distilling method of them all.  Applejack has a good natural apple whiskey flavor and it is a potent liquor that packs a kick like a mule! 
     Laird's Applejack is the oldest continually made American Apple Whiskey.  Laird's Applejack also happens to be the best.  Highly recommended for sipping and cooking! 

     *This recipe yields 1 entrée portion with extra sauce and vegetable portions. 

     Wild Boar Tenderloin And Coarse Lean Forcemeat Preparation:
     Wild boar tenderloin is usually sold in packages of two at butcher shops that carry wild game meat.  The trimmings from two wild boar tenderloins are needed for this recipe.  
     The second unused wild boar tenderloin can be used for a second recipe that will be published at a later time.
     Step 1:  Use a razor sharp boning knife to trimm the chain section off of 2 wild boar tenderloins.
     Trim any loose meat, connective tissue and sinew off of both tenderloins.
     Wrap one tenderloin up and chill it for later use.
     Scrape or cut any connective tissue, fat and sinew off of the trimmings.
     Set the cleaned tenderloin trimmings aside.  
     Step 2:  Fold the thin tip end of the cleaned whole tenderloin over itself.
     Use butcher's twine to truss the tenderloin tip and truss the entire tenderloin in 3 or 4 places, so the tenderloin will retain its round shape after cooking.
     Step 3:  Place the trussed wild boar tenderloin and the trimmings from the two tenderloins in a small container.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1 pinch of thyme.
     Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of vegetable oil.
     Toss the ingredients together.
     Place a lid on the container.
     Refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours.
     *Be sure to clean and sterilize all all surfaces, knifes and utensils to prevent pathogen contamination.    
     Kabocha Potato Croquettes:
     This recipe yields about 4 petite portions!  Basically, this is a vegetable mousseline.  
     Step 1:  Brush a 4 ounce piece of seeded kabocha squash with melted unsalted butter.
     Roast the squash in a 325º oven, till it becomes tender.
     Let the squash cool.
     Use a paring knife to peel the skin.
     Step 2:  Press the soft kabocha squash through a fine mesh strainer.
     Keep the mashed kabocha warm on a stove top.
     Step 3:  Place 6 ounces of peeled russet potato that is cut into large bite size pieces in a sauce pot.  
     Cover the potato with cold water.
     Boil the potato over medium high heat, till it becomes soft.
     Step 4:  Drain the water off of the potato.
     Add the kabocha squash to the pot.
     Mash the potato and kabocha, till the mixture is smooth.
     Step 5:  Add sea salt and white pepper.
     Add 1 small pinch of nutmeg.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of melted unsalted butter.
     Add 1 tablespoon of cream.
     Add 1 tablespoon of whisked egg.
     Add 1 1/2 tablespoons of flour.
     Whisk the potato mixture till it becomes smooth.  Add a little bit of flour, if the mixture does not hold its shape, when squeezed by hand.  The mixture should thick, but not as dense as clay. 
     Step 6:  Chill the kabocha potato mixture till it becomes very firm.
     Use two serving spoons to create large quenelle shapes.
     Roll the quenelles in plain fine French bread crumbs.  
     Place the breaded quenelles on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and chill them till they are needed.

     Applejack Gastrique:
     This gastrique recipe yields enough for 2 to 4 servings, depending on the application!
     Many of my gastriques are made when the sugar is at the hard crack stage or light yellow amber.  This creates a semi sweet effect.  The sugar is cooked to a medium dark amber color for today's gastrique and this creates a savory effect.  
     It is important to observe the sugar as it changes color from clear, to very pale yellow, then to a light yellow brown amber color.  This happens quickly!  A few seconds later, the sugar changes from a light amber color to a darker golden brown amber color.  This is the time to add the fruit!
     *Use caution!  Hot molten sugar will cause severe burns!  Do not stir a gastrique, till shortly after the liquid flavorings are added, or the sugar will stick to the utensil like rock sugar candy.
     Step 1:  Peel and core 1 Granny Smith Apple.
     Brunoise dice 3 to 4 tablespoons of the apple and set it aside in a cup.  (Brunoise = 1/8"x1/8"x1/8")  Toss the brunoise apple with a few drops of diluted lemon juice, to prevent oxidation.
     Coarsely chop the remainder of the apple and set it aside. 
     Step 2:  Boil 2 cups of water over medium high heat in a stainless steel sauce pot.
     Add 1/2 cup of sugar.
     When the sugar begins to turn a light amber color, stay close to the pan and watch for the sugar to turn a dark amber color.  (Dark amber is a golden yellow brown color.)
     Step 3:  When the sugar turns a dark amber color, immediately add the reserved coarsely chopped apple.
     Allow the caramelized sugar to coat the fruit for 1 minute.  (The sugar will stop caramelizing when the fruit is added.  The hot sugar will seize the fruit and pull all of the flavor and color out of the fruit.  The caramelized sugar will completely take on the flavor and color of the fruit!)
     Step 4:  Reduce the temperature to low heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
     Add 5 ounces of Applejack Liquor.  (This is a gastrique, so try not to flambé!  Reduce the flame if necessary, till the alcohol evaporates.  Use a lid to smother and extinguish any flames.)   
     Add 1 cup of water.
     Add 2 pinches of sea salt.
     Add 12 whole black peppercorns.
     Add 1 small pinch of white pepper.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of thyme leaves.
     Add 2 bay leaves.
     Add 3 dried allspice berries.
     Add 1 whole clove.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of minced shallot.
     Step 5:  Simmer and reduce the gastrique, till it is a very thin syrup consistency.
     Pour the gastrique through a fine mesh strainer into a second sauce pot over low heat.
     Add the reserved brunoise diced apple.
     Simmer and reduce till the gastrique becomes a thin glacé syrup consistency.  The glacé should be thick enough to barely coat the back of a spoon.  (Keep in mind that when a gastrique cools, it may become a little bit thicker consistency.)
     Step 6:  Pour the gastrique into a ceramic cup.
     Keep the Applejack Gastrique warm on a stove top.  Add a few drops of hot water if it becomes too thick.
     This gastrique can be refrigerated for up to 7 days.

     Forcemeat Encrusted Wild Boar Tenderloin:
     Step 1:  After the wild boar tenderloin and cleaned coarse forcemeat trimmings have marinated, remove them from the container and place them in a strainer.
    Allow the small amount of marinade to drain off.
     Step 2:  Heat a sauté pan over medium heat.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Place the trussed marinated whole wild boar tenderloin in the pan.
     Sear the tenderloin on all sides, till brown highlights appear on all sides.  The center should still be uncooked.
     Step 3:  Place the seared tenderloin on a cutting board.
     Remove the trussing string.
     Coarsely chop the marinated forcemeat or press it through a 1/4" gap wire mesh strainer.
     Use both hands to pile and press the forcemeat on the seared tenderloin.
     Step 4:  Use both hands to transfer the forcemeat crusted wild boar tenderloin to a wire screen roasting rack on a roasting pan.
     Repair any damage and make sure the forcemeat sicks.
     Drizzle a small amount of unsalted butter over the forcemeat.
     Season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Roast the forcemeat crusted wild boar tenderloin in a 350º oven, till the forcemeat becomes lightly browned and the tenderloin becomes fully cooked.  (165º center temperature.  Wild boar cannot be served less than well done, because of a potential trichinosis pathogen threat.)
     Step 5:  Keep the tenderloin warm on a stove top.
     *The Croquette's should be started a few minutes before the tenderloin finishes.
     Finishing The Kabocha Pomme de Terre Croquettes:
     The croquettes can be pan fried with butter for a classy look or they can be deep fried.  
     When pan fried, the croquettes become soft.  They will have to be handled carefully with a cake spatula. 
     The croquettes should be cooked just before the entree is ready and they should be placed directly on the serving plate or platter.  The less the soft croquettes are handled, the better.
     Step 1:  Heat a seasoned saute pan or cast iron skilled over medium heat.
     Add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
     Place a few breaded kabocha potato quenelles in the pan, so they are not close to each other.  Leave enough room to flip each croquette!
     Step 2:  Pan fry the croquettes till they are golden brown on both sides.  Only flip the croquettes once!  A gentle touch is necessary or they will be damaged.
     Note:  If a croquette is slightly damaged, it is best to wait till the croquette is placed on a plate, before reshaping the croquette with a spatula.
     Serve immediately after the croquettes are cooked.  Use a cake spatula to drain off any excess butter and transfer the croquettes to the plate.

     Forcemeat Encrusted Wild Boar Tenderloin with Applejack Gastrique ~ Kabocha Pomme de Terre Croquettes: 
     The forcemeat encrusted wild boar tenderloin cannot be sliced before plating, or the coarse forcemeat will fall off.
     Place the forcemeat encrusted wild boar tenderloin on the front center of a place.
     Place 2 kabocha potato croquettes on the back half of the plate.
     Place a mushroom or vegetable of your choice on the plate.  (A peeled fluted portobello mushroom that was gently sautéed in butter is the garnish in the pictures.)
     Use a spoon to gather the apple brunoise from the applejack gastrique and cascade it over the the thick end of the tenderloin and onto the plate.
     Spoon a generous amount of the applejack gastrique over the tenderloin and onto the plate.
     No garnish is necessary!

     Viola!  A very classy old fashioned hand crafted forcemeat encrusted wild boar tenderloin with a modern Applejack Gastrique that is specifically flavored for this entrée!

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