Monday 7 November 2011

Things not commonly found in UK or Irish supermarkets: marcassin

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about shopping, and mentioned I might add an entry about what to do with the unusual things we find in the supermarkets here that are not so common at home.

So, in the first installment, here is marcassin or boar. Marcassin is young and sanglier is over one year old.

The first lesson is to research what you are cooking well before you plan to cook it. I learned this lesson at 6pm on Saturday when I started preparing for dinner. All the recipes I found (in French; it seems that the only thing that English-speaking cooks do with boar is make stew; I wanted to roast it) started with variations of “marinade your joint for between 24-48 hours in wine”. So I did what any girl in my position would do and called the MiL. Of course, the first thing she said was “well, I always marinade it for 48 hours…). I needed to reduce 48 hours into one.

FIL stepped in to the rescue. He suggested heating the wine and marinating the joint in that for one good hour.

So, for the marinade you need:
One bottle of cheap red wine
Some whole peppercorns
A couple of cloves
This was all heated in a pot and poured over the marcassin filet and left for one hour.

While this was cooking, I made a very garlicky potato gratin.

After the hour passed, I took the joint out of the marinade and popped it in a small roasting dish, with a few spoonful’s of the marinade and some fresh cranberries. This was all liberally sprinkled with freshly ground pepper.  This, along with the potatoes went into the (hot) oven at 180° for 40 minutes.  I cooked it fairly well

And the result? See for yourself!

Roast marcassin with garlic potatoes, fried mushrooms and beans

Would I cook it again? Well, yes, but I’d make sure I marinated it for 24 hours first. It was good, edible, tasty, enjoyable – the meat was tender but a slight bit dry.  In all, a learning experience!

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