24 hour slow roast wild boar and flatbreads

Every Sunday I head to the market across the road to pick up my meat and veg for the week.  I never know exactly what meat my man is going to have that day, it all depends what has been shot, slaughtered or finished hanging that week. All his meat is free range and fantastic.  Guinea fowl, roosters, rabbits, muntjac and wild boar are often available, his wild boar bacon is really good and his mutton is always hung for 3 weeks so it’s tender enough to cook pink.  Last November we were chatting away about his Southdown mutton that he had coming up when his mother mentioned that he should show me what he had in the chiller.  “Its a bit hairy”, he said as we went out back, “people are funny about the hair so I can’t sell it like this and I haven’t had time to prep it.”  I still wasn’t sure what I was about to be shown as he opened up the chiller box and for a split second as he opened the lid I thought he was trying to sell me half a dead dog!  Luckily it was a 2 year old wild boar.  Having told me a bit about her, yes her (not so important for the front end but apparently the males tend to wee all over their stomachs which over their 2 year life time affects the belly meat) I was instantly sold on the hunk of meat, handed over my tenner and went off in search of a heat gun to de-hair her.

The wild boar as I bought her and after I had removed the tough hair

Once I got home I immediately set about prepping the wild boar removing the tough bristly hair with a heat gun and a stiff brush.  It took a good half hour to do in the garden and it smelt really good! I was really happy with my huge hunk of meat and popped the above photos on my Facebook page.

*skip to next paragraph to avoid a bit of a brief rant

There were a great deal of people who instantly wanted an invite for dinner but I was really surprised that a couple of people found it really offensive, so much to the point that they complained to Facebook and had the pictures removed.  I still don’t know who this was and I really hope they have not only “unfriended” themselves but that they also spend every spare minute of their time covering butcher’s windows with paint and covering up all the supermarket meat shelves with white sheets if the sight off meat offends them so greatly. But they probably eat meat and just don’t like to associate the meat they stuff in their faces with animals. Yes I know, I’m ranting. Rant over.

Anyway, once fully prepped it went into the freezer ready to make a grand future appearance.

24 hour roast wild boar

Once the boar was thoroughly defrosted I made a marinade:

Good couple of pinches of smoked tea to get that deep smoky flavour

2 heaped dessert spoons Spice Ways Heavenly Herbs (wonderful blend of of herbs and spices including coriander and rose petals that I discovered whilst in Bath)

glug of oil to mix.

The marinade ingredients were all mixed and rubbed into the flesh and skin of the boar.  Wild boar skin is very tough and is not eaten but I wanted all the flavours of the smoky tea, herbs and spices to infuse the meat and then the juices reduced at the end for an intense sauce.  The meat was put into a large roasting tin, covered in tin foil and placed in an oven set to 130C for 20hours.  During this time the meat was gently turned and basted a few times.  For the last 4 hours the foil was removed and a huge amount of juices and marinade poured off into a jug.  The skin was now able to crisp up a bit like a protective coat.  Once the juices had separated the very top layer of fat was removed and the remaining liquid reduced gently in a pan until it reached a thick sauce consistency and it packed a real punch in the flavour department. This was the most amazing sauce!

The skin is simply peeled back to reveal the most incredibly moist meat that just melts in your mouth.  Easiest way to serve is simply to stick 2 forks on the table and let everyone dig in.  I made flatbreads and smoky turtle beans to go with it and served it with homemade cucumber, onion and mustard pickle, coleslaw and some very hot pickled red chillies.

Flatbreads

This recipe was just made up on the spot and worked really well.  The sourdough starter is used a a seasoning as I love the flavour.

500g white flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp Halen Môn salt flakes

2 dessert spoons sourdough starter

2 dessert spoons oil

About a mug of warm water

2 good pinches each of black onion seeds, white sesame seeds and fennel seeds

Just combine all into a dough and knead for about 5-10mins until nice and smooth and elastic. Leave for 5 mins whilst you heat a flat bottomed large griddle or frying pan until really hot.  Divide your dough into about 8 pieces then using a rolling pin (or I just use my hands to stretch and shape)  roll each one out flat until nice and thin whilst making sure it will fit happily into your pan.  One by one cook the breads, they will bubble up and colour very quickly, so keep an eye on them and turn only once.

Smoky Turtle Beans

This is a great recipe and always proves to be a winner.

1 pack dried turtle beans that have been soaked overnight and rinsed.

2 large onions thinly sliced

1 tin tomatoes

1 dessert spoon New Orleans Spice Blend from Laissez-Fare (hunt this out its really fantastic!)

2 tsp brown sugar

few grinds black pepper

1cup vegetable stock (or more to cover the beans if required)

2 tsp smoked tea.

glug of oil

Very gently fry the onion in a glug of oil until it starts to caramelise then add the New Orleans Spice Blend and brown sugar and stir gently for a few minutes.  Then tip the onion mix into a slow cooker and deglaze the pan with the chicken stock and pour this into the slow cooker too.  Add your turtle beans, tinned tomatoes, black pepper and smoked tea, make sure the beans are all covered by liquid, top up with more stock if needed and then cook on high for about 6 hours or until the beans are soft.  I usually thicken the mix slightly by removing the slow cooker lid and letting it cook uncovered for the last 30mins. Taste and add salt and pepper if required.

This is the basic veggie recipe, I also do a meaty one by adding sliced chorizo and using chicken stock and sometimes add carrot, celery, cocoa, cumin and paprika depending on my mood.  It’s really versatile and like everything I make it’s pretty hard to screw it up.

To serve I just placed the boar on a large serving platter, pulled back the skin and let people dig in and add whatever dips and condiments they wanted in order to make the most amazing wild boar kebabs ever!

Pulled boar kebabs, amazing!

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Pauls Bakery

 Paul’s Soyfoods are entirely organic and in addition to delivering fresh fruit and veg around the country also bake 6 days a week.  I spent an hour one morning watching the two bakers at work, it was fast, unrelenting and beautifully coordinated work and I was really struck by how tactile the whole process was. There are quite a few more photos to come over the next couple of days as I get around to it and I will be heading back to photograph them making their own tofu and tempeh soon.

Bath Farmer’s Market visit

Thoughtful Bread at Bath farmer’s Market sell the most delicious breads and cakes!  Unfortunately I arrived quite late to the market but I was still able to grab a Beetroot loaf (I will definitely be making these in future), a Cider Loaf (amazing!) and a Walnut and Raisin loaf (fantastic, my absolute favourite) and not forgetting the most beautifully indulgent Chocolate Raspberry tart (it didn’t even make it as far as the car!).

I adore cheese and last year was the year I discovered Homewood Cheese who make stunning cheeses using sheep’s milk.  What was even more lovely was that despite having never met them before I was greeted with a very friendly: “Hello Hazel”!  It was really lovely to finally meet Tim and Angela at the market as I’m quite often to be heard singing the praises of their cheese on Twitter! Tim is the cheese man and he met his partner Angela at a Farmer’s Market where she sells her fantastic preserves.  Their fresh cheese tart only made it as far as the car also!

This lovely chap travels up from Dorset each month to the market.  I bought some Venison faggots from him and they were absolutely delicious!

Easiest Cheesy Leeks ever

This is on our table during the winter months whenever a roast dinner is served, it is always a guaranteed hit with anyone that hasn’t tried it before (and with those that have!). Its my all time favourite leek recipe and by far the easiest one for delicious cheesy leeks.

Ingredients:

  • 6 leeks
  •  250ml cream (single or double is up to you)
  • 100g pot of FRESH grated Grana Padano cheese (all supermarkets sell these in the cheese section)
  •  knob of butter
  • pepper

Method:

Gently sweat the chopped leeks in the butter to soften then add your pot of cream and stir to bring back to temperature. Once hot but not boiling add your tub of Grana Padano and stir in gently.  It will melt almost instantly then simply season and serve. So easy.