Despite the wild boar gouging big holes in our vineyard, we haven't killed them, so this recipe uses pork. It's going to sound like a lot of faffing about, but it really is worth it.
I used two rolled loins of pork for 11 people. We only got through one at lunch, but that was because several of the guests were French (extras showed up). If we'd all been English we'd have scoffed the lot.
Ingredients - for about 8 people
2 kg pork loin, rolled and tied
1 bottle chunky Languedoc red wine (at least)
1 glass armagnac or cognac
1.5 cups olive oil
10 juniper berries
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 good pinches salt
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees.
Squeeze the pork into a non-metallic container small enough to get in your fridge. Pour over enough red wine and armagnac to cover the pork. Add 1 cup of olive oil, juniper berries, cloves, bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns and salt. Turn the pork. Leave it in the fridge for three days, turning the pork two or three times a day.
At the end of three days it should look like one of these:
Take the pork out and dry it with some kitchen towel. Save the marinade. Put half a cup of olive oil and some butter in a roasting pan. Put the pan on the top of your cooker and sear the pork on all sides to seal the meat. Don't burn it.
Remove the pork, pour the fat only from the pan (leaving the bits). Put the onions and shallots in the bottom of the pan then replace the pork on top. Strain the marinade reserving the juice and ditching the rest. Pour a cup of the marinade over the pork and put it in the oven for about an hour and a half. Baste the pork every 30 minutes, using more of the reserved marinade if necessary so the pork is never dry.
Just before the pork is ready put the remaining marinade in a separate saucepan. Boil it until it has reduced by half. Take the pork and onions from the oven and put on a hot dish, covered, to rest while you make the sauce. To the roasting pan chuck in 50 grams-ish of butter and a soup spoon of flour. Mix it well while adding the reduced marinade. Scrape all the delicious bits off the bottom of the pan so they integrate with the sauce. Cook the sauce for about three minutes then strain it into a jug.
We served the pork with braised celery, roast potatoes and sweet potatoes, carrots and spinach. It was succulent, tender and delicious and worth a bit of forward-planning.