Last weekend was our annual street party, la fête des voisins, and following up from a piece I wrote back in October…we ate the neighbourhood boar! (I’m sure there’s a joke to be made here as we certainly have a few neighbourhood bores, but I won’t go any further with that and it wasn’t them we ate!)
For those of you who have been reading my blog for a while you may remember the story of the local hunt taking place in our lane. For new readers and anyone wanting to refresh their memories the whole story can be found here. In a nutshell, several wild boar were culled locally and we were given a leg and some (what we thought was) belly meat by the hunters. Not being too keen on game (me not JF), nor having any butchering skills (both of us) we threw the beast into the freezer and semi-forgot about it. As the months passed we occasionally wondered what on earth we were going to do with the wild boar taking up a fair amount of space in the freezer, particularly the hairy leg with hoof still attached. But other than jokingly saying “we’ll cook it up for the neighbourhood party” we mainly tried not to think about it.
So, fast forward seven months and while chatting to some neighbour friends about what we were going to bring to this year’s street party we remembered the boar and we decide to go for it. Well, when I say “we” I really mean our lovely neighbour J who offered to deal with our meat as well as theirs. He’s a great cook, but not a butcher, and by all accounts turning a hairy limb of animal into edible meat wasn’t much fun! Perhaps I should point out at this stage that this post isn’t a good one for vegetarians (or anyone of a sensitive nature).
Apparently there was an enormous amount of blood and actually not much meat, for what we thought was belly included some hidden bones and a lot of fat. We were all shocked at how few edible bits there were. But what there was produced a very tasty stew several hours later. J added loads of red wine, some herbs, onions and carrots and cooked it up for 5 hours on a low heat. Despite being a very wintry dish it went down well amongst the neighbours as we sat around a fire on an unseasonably chilly night and I was delighted not only to have solved the conundrum of what to do with the boar but to have eaten such locally sourced and free meat. “Neighbour meat”!
I’ve eaten wild boar on two other memorable occasions. The first time was our wedding meal (I still marvel that I agreed to such a menu but it was winter and the chef insisted on seasonal food and I was a young bride eager to please and actually it was great!) And secondly, on the 31 December 1999 as we celebrated the Millenium at a house party with friends near St Tropez. This time I had no say in the menu as we were guests but once again I enjoyed it. The smell of it hanging for a couple of days before, however, was another matter altogether. The idea of eating wild boar is always more alarming than the actual taste, which as I keep saying is really rather good, even for me, a professed non-game eater. So, to get back to this weekend and our fête des voisins, we ended the night making smores with marshmallows, which complemented the boar just fine!
Have you eaten wild boar? Would you try it? What do you think about eating the local wildlife?
Haha this is a fantastic story. I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with wild game either! 😀
This recipe sounds fab – I love wild boar stew. I’ve eaten it a lot in Tuscany with fresh egg pappardelle, delicious!
I am guessing you will know what I am gong to write even before the letters are typed. Wild boar – would I eat it? Yup, I would along with other game and I would have a go at butchering it myself … although I have to say my butchery skills leave A LOT to be desired. It’s why we get a butcher in to process our pigs etc when we slaughter them.
We have sangliers around here, I have seen their foot prints but never seen one in the flesh – gite guests have though and I regularly see deer. They are beautiful animals which I love to catch a glimpse of but I also enjoy eating meat and would not worry if I were offered a haunch of venison.
I am happy to try different meats but you’d never get me, say, on a big fairground ride. Such is the variety of life Each to their own I say but I am glad you enjoyed your stew 🙂
Hmm, it’s all mind over matter, isn’t it sometimes? The look would turn me off but from what you said, it tasted better than expected.
Years ago when my mom was visiting, we were invited to dinner at an Ethiopian friend who made a meat dish that was only marinated in peppers and spices. I’d had it before but I knew my mother would be squeamish so we didn’t tell her until long after. Although she couldn’t tell from the flavor of the meat that it hadn’t been cooked, she wasn’t very happy but by then there was nothing she could do. This was pre-mad cow and before I became aware of how cows especially are farmed. I wouldn’t do that now!
Thanks for bringing us this story, Phoebe and thanks for linking up this week!
And btw, I got both your comments. Thanks for your message.
We eat so much of the meat on our farm I would have no problem with wild boar, just so long as I didn’t need to do the killing. Love the whole story behind the post #TastyTuesday
There’s a few folk in the forest of Dean that’ll read this with interest! Much debate about culling the boar, usually illustrated with a picture of cute boarlets.
Cooked in and eaten with a lot of wine it works well Catherine! But I agree, I couldn’t have done the butchering and it’s definitely not my favourite food.
Yes they did, thanks to a long slow cook and lots of wine!
Oh no, do you think we’ll be given more this autumn??? I’m not sure J will butcher again!
Thanks for pinning and thanks also for hosting this week. 🙂
I bet you saw loads in St Vallier as it’s more remote and wilder than Roquefort les Pins and we get enough of them here!
Italians like a bit of boar that’s true. French do as well. Thanks for stopping by Elfa.
Oh gosh Sally, I didn’t think of that! Too late; damn! 😉
“Smores” are an American campfire staple: toasted marshmallows and a piece of chocolate that melts with the hot marshmallow squashed between 2 digestive biscuits. They’re so good you want s’more!
Forgot to say – thanks for linking up to #TastyTuesdays, and I’ve pinned this to the Tasty Tuesdays Pinterest board.
I love this story! I’ve had “sanglier” a fair few times before, but it’s true it’s quite a strong taste. I’ve met quite a few wild boars on the roads in the area too, especially when we lived inland in St Vallier de Thiey, that can be quite scary!
I have had wild boar with pasta at a nice Italian restaurant and it was gorgeous. Cool seeing how it ‘started out’. #tastytuesdays
Too funny – with the hair still on ! Maybe you could make pair of shoes as well :). But sounds like the experiment was worth it.
A great evening and a special thanks to J who made this delicious stew. Can’t wait for next winter for more supply!
Sounds pretty good to me. But what are “smores”?
This sounds like so much fun, and even though there wasn’t a huge amount of meat i bet the bits were edible tasted fab 🙂
The whole business is too much for me. I’m not vegetarian but there are limits. Glad you enjoyed it. I have eaten game but never prepared it or even seen it being prepared.